Southeast Asian steel consumption is predicted to grow in 2021 with some countries anticipated to achieve a rebound to pre-COVID-19 levels, said South East Asia Iron & Steel Institute (SEAISI) secretary-general Yeoh Wee Jin.
In 2021, total steel consumption in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam is projected to increase by 6.1pc to 75mn mt against 2020 but will remain 6.7pc below 2019. However, Vietnam and Indonesia are anticipated to surpass their 2019 levels of production at 24.7mt and 16mn, respectively.
Imports into ASEAN countries fell by 18.2pc to 41.9mn mt in 2020 against 51.2mn mt the prior year. Export from the ASEAN region rose by 12.8pc to 17.6mn mt in 2020 compared to 15.6mn mt the prior year. The increase in exports was driven by investments in Indonesia (plate and stainless steel) and Malaysia (longs).
Of the 25.4mn mt of finished steel and semis exports in 2020, 83pc was shipped to East Asia, ASEAN countries, and China. Of the finished steel and semi’s combination, Malaysia led with 10.1mn mt, followed by Indonesia with 8.4mn mt, and Vietnam with 2.8mn mt.
Sean Davidson of Davis Index presented at the conference on how ASEAN steel production and raw materials demand has altered ferrous scrap flows, especially, from the US and Japan. The growing ferrous scrap requirements from the emerging markets have increased bulk and container demand influencing strong export demand in a period of strong domestic market demand in major net exporting countries, thereby, supporting the higher ferrous scrap prices in 2021.