Indonesia’s steel demand is likely to decrease to 11mn mt in 2020 and is expected to recover in 2021, the Indonesian Iron and Steel Industry Association (IISIA) revealed in the recently held South East Asia Iron and Steel Institute’s (SEAISI) e-conference.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country’s steel production, outlook for steel’s demand and growth was positive with demand estimated to rise to 16.4mn mt in 2020, up by 3pc from the prior year. With the government spending $29.8bn this year on infrastructure, consumption was expected to grow sharply.
The demand could go down 2-fold of what it was when the 2009 economic crisis hit the country, IISIA noted.
In 2019, Indonesia’s steel consumption rose by 5.3pc to 15.9mn mt while the production, imports and exports rose by 9pc, 10.5pc and 27pc, respectively. However, actual impact of COVID-19 on the steel sector is yet to be determined according to IISIA.
Thailand’s steel consumption is expected to decline by 6.9pc to 17.3mn mt in 2020, according to Iron and Steel Institute Thailand. Sharp drop in steel consumption is likely to lower semi-finish steel imports.
Thailand had recorded a drop of 3.8pc in 2019 and 1.3pc in Q1 2020 in steel demand. With COVID-19 pandemic causing suspension in automotive productions for more than a quarter, sharp drop in demand is predicted for Q2 2020.
In 2019, Thailand imported 4mn mt of semi-finished steel, witnessing 26.7pc increase over 2018. However, the imports had seen a drop of 1.38mn mt or 15 pc in Jan-May’2019 over same period in previous year.