The growth in global steel demand, as stated by the World Steel Association (worldsteel) in its World Steel in Figures 2014 report, was “good news” for South Africa, Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) chief economist Henk Langenhoven said on Thursday.
According to the worldsteel report, demand grew by 3.6% during 2013, despite challenging market conditions.
“South Africa currently exports 60% of its metals and engineering sector products, therefore, growth in the world economy presents local steelmakers with more export opportunities,” Seifsa said.
Further, the report said the African market share of world demand for steel was 2.1% in 2003 and slightly down to 2% in 2013, while the continent imported 25.4-million tons of steel in 2013, of which 24-million tons came from outside Africa.
Langenhoven said the worldsteel figures clearly showed the potential for South African steel producers to replace imports from outside the continent.
The worldsteel report indicated that South Africa ranked twenty-first among countries producing steel in 2013, at 7.2-million tons, up by 4.4% on 2012.
Langenhoven said this increase was owing to the country’s recovery from domestic production disruptions in 2012.