According to a recent Steel Report released by the South African Iron and Steel Institute (SAISI), South Africa imported record amounts of primary steel in 2021, amounting to close to 1.7 million tons, or over one-third of all steel utilized in the nation.
The analysis comes to the conclusion that primary steel imports are now mostly supporting South Africa's apparent steel consumption, which rebounded by "an amazing 36pct" after the Covid shutdown.
The paper, which was written by Charles Dednam, secretary-general of SAISI, states that South Africa, which had previously exported steel, switched to being a net importer from the start of 2020. It also mentions that despite "much-contested trade regulations imposed to control the influx of foreign steel to the country," imports have increased.
The increase in imports has been attributed to price and supply issues.
However, in Dednam's opinion, neither offer a satisfactory explanation because the domestic market, which has excess capacity, should have "sorted out the steel supply shortages experienced during late 2020 and early 2021, following the Covid lockdowns," and because domestic steel prices "seem to be comparable to the lower end of international price offerings."
The capability of South Africa's crude steel industry to produce steel annually is believed to be around 8.5 million tons, but the analysis determines that the actual rate is more like 6.5 million tons.
The materials and information on this article have been prepared or assembled by Viet Nam Steel and are intended for informational purposes only.