News Room - Steel Industry

Posted on 15 Sep 2022

Saudi Arabia targets net steel exports by 2030

Saudi Arabia is undertaking an ambitious national steel sector restructuring plan under the Saudi Vision 2030. The objective is to increase domestic supply coverage from 67% in 2019 to 99.3% by 2030, Kallanish notes.

"A few years ago, Saudi steel makers were registering big financial losses; there were plant closures and defaulted loans," stated Vice Minister for Mining and Minerals Matar Al-Harthi during the third day of the Saudi National Steel Conference attended by Kallanish. "These were due to mainly capacity build up in long products (rebar) which outpaced demand growth by three times causing utilisation realisation below profitability levels of around 60%." 

"However, flat products such as plate, tinplate and ultra-thin gauge hot rolled coil imports continued yearly at an average of SAR 14 billion ($3.73 billion). The national steel restructuring plan was launched to improve the Saudi economy, create sustainability and better steel sector competitiveness. The aim is to make Saudi Arabia from a net flat product importer to a net exporter [by] 2030. Nevertheless, the country has SAR 3.6 trillion ($960 billion) construction projects until 2030. The steel sector is critical for the planned projects, and 48 small steel producers need to sustain more than SAR 12 billion in lending exposure," Al-Harthi continues. 

"Closing the capacity gap in semi-finished and finished products, which requires adding 5.7 million tonnes/year through three separate investments exceeding SAR 35 billion, is the strategy's first pillar. The second pillar is ensuring the sustainability and growth of current producers through establishing an ecosystem that includes research and development, a steel academy and ensuring the security of feedstock supply. And the third pillar is the policy framework which includes 16 policies related to fair trade, ESG and others," Al-Arthi concludes.

"I am stunned to see Saudi steel sector participants and government officials united with ambition and determination around the Saudi Vision 2030", world steel association director general Edwin Basson said to Kallanish during the second Saudi National Steel Conference.