Steel-making facility in ASEAN-6 countries is mainly done through the electric arc furnace process. Although total installed semi-finished steel production capacity in ASEAN-6 registered nearly 50 million tonnes per year, capacity utilization rate had consistently dipped below 50% in previous years. However, a significant growth of semi-finished steel production of 27% y-o-y to 26.3 million tonnes in 2017 has moved the capacity utilization rate to above 50% in that year.
Among the six countries in the region, Vietnam’s semi-finished steel production registered the highest volume of 11.5 million tonnes in 2017, an increase of 47% y-o-y. The second largest semi-finished steel producer in the region was Indonesia. Indonesia’s production registered 5.2 million tonnes, an increase of 9.5% y-o-y in 2017. Thailand’s semi-finished steel production increased by 17% y-o-y to 4.5 million tonnes in 2017. Malaysia’s semi-finished steel production also registered a double digit increase of 16% y-o-y to 3.2 million tonnes in the same year.
Philippines’ semi-finished steel production (mainly billet) jumped significantly, by 28% y-o-y to 1.38 million tonnes in 2017. Singapore’s semi-finished steel production (mainly billet) also increased significantly, at 14% y-o-y in 2017. However, the volume had remained at below 600,000 tonnes.
Most of hot rolled steel producers in the region are re-rolling mills. Therefore, there is a need for them to import significant volume of semi-finished steel each year. Total semi-finished steel import in ASEAN-6 registered 10.6 million tonnes in 2017. However, the volume declined by half a million tonnes, when compared to 2016.
Indonesia was the main importer of semi-finished steel in the region, with a volume of 4.1 million tonnes in 2017. Import volume constituted nearly half of total demand in the country. However, the volume declined by more than a million tonnes, when compared to the import in 2016. Major sources of import were Russia, China, Brazil and India. Indonesia’s semi-finished steel import from China dropped significantly, from 3.5 million tonnes in 2016 to 771,764 tonnes in 2017. Import from Russia remained significant, increasing by 11% y-o-y to 957,095 tonnes in 2017.
Thailand was the second largest importer of semi-finished steel in the region, with a total import volume of 2.9 million tonnes in 2017, a sharp decline of 2 million tonnes compared to 2016. This was followed by the Philippines, which imported 2.8 million tonnes in 2017, a decline of 10% y-o-y. Major sources for Thailand’s import of semi-finished steel were Russia, Japan, China, UAE and Brazil. As for Philippines, there is no confirmed statistics on sources of import.
Malaysia’s import of semi-finished steel dropped significantly, by nearly half, to 475,283 tonnes in 2017. Major sources were Indonesia, India and UAE.
Vietnam is the largest semi-finished steel consumer in the region. Total semi-finished steel demand registered 11.3 million tonnes, an increase of 25.6% y-o-y in 2017. However, Vietnam seems to be quite self-sufficient in terms of domestic semi-finished steel supply. Total import volume in 2017 was only 249,900 tonnes, a decline by a million tonnes compared to the previous year. Major sources were South Korea, Japan, Thailand and Indonesia.
Singapore’s import of semi-finished steel is minimum, at 29,697 tonnes in 2017. NatSteel Holding Pte Ltd, the only steel producer in the country, is self-sufficient in billet production.