Saudi Iron & Steel Company (Hadeed) has been approved by Egypt's General Organization for Export and Import Control as a supplier of rebar to Egypt, according to press reports in the North African country.
Hadeed thus becomes Saudi Arabia’s second steelmaker after Rajhi Steel to receive approval to supply rebar to Egypt.
Hadeed could not be contacted before deadline for confirmation.
Saudi Arabia recently resumed rebar and billet exports after a long hiatus. The country’s west coast port city of Jeddah is only a short journey up the Red Sea away from Egypt’s major ports, meaning low freight costs and lead times.
Saudi exported 38,210 tonnes of rebar and 40,156t of wire rod to Egypt between the removal of the export ban last July and end-2017, according to General Authority for Statistics data (see Kallanish passim). Since the turn of the year the focus has been mainly on billet trade, with Saudi shipping 24,980t to Egypt in January-February, according to the latest-available data. In the other direction, Egyptian wire rod shipments to Saudi surged 73% on-year in 2017 to 72,369t.
Saudi producers are entering the Egyptian market at an opportune time, with rebar imports from Turkey, Ukraine and China blocked by a five-year anti-dumping duty imposed last December. They will provide still increased competition to Egyptian steelmakers following the recent launch of Egyptian Steel’s Ain Sokhna rebar steelworks.
Egyptian rebar sales in January-February grew 46% to 1.3 million tonnes, while rebar production soared 61% to 1.46mt, according to Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) data.