Source: Myanmar Times
Myanmar will soon set standards to ensure the quality of locally produced and imported steel and iron, a senior official said.
U Kan Chun, managing director of No.1 Heavy Industries Enterprise under the Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry, said standards will be published this year for deformed bar, three types of hot-rolled plate and one type of cold-rolled plate.
“Myanmar is the only country in ASEAN with no standards for iron and steel,” he said during a recent forum on the emerging metal industry in Mandalay.
“These standards will do a lot to ensure the quality of iron and steel imported from other countries. Their competitiveness, which local producers are worried about, could be prevented,” he added
The demand for iron and steel is increasing every year with urban development and expansion. According to the Ministry of Commerce, the country imported 1.325 million tonnes of iron and steel in fiscal 2017-2018.
U Sit Tine Aung, an iron and steel businessman, expressed concern about the ability of the local industry to compete with imported products that are subsidised by their governments.
“We greatly fear China. The Chinese government gives its people everything they need, such as electricity,” he said. “It is extremely hard for us to compete with their production cost.”
From 2013 to 2018, Myanmar produced 35,000 tonnes of raw materials for iron and steel per year.
In 2018, it imported over 2 million tonnes of crude and finished iron and steel products.
Domestic consumption of iron and steel has risen steadily from 1.8 million tonnes in 2016, and could exceed 5 million tonnes by 2025.
U Aye Thiha, secretary of the Myanmar Steel and Iron Association, said production policies should also be developed.
“Current consumption is 58 kilograms per capita. We have to decide whether to produce or import the required amount of iron and steel,” he said.
“For example, China produces 800 to 850 million tonnes to meet domestic demand of 500 million tonnes, so 350 million tonnes are exported,” he added.
Myanmar produces 400,000 tonnes of billet lounge, 600,000 tonnes of steel rolling, and 500,000 tonnes of coated steel a year.