UAE’s steel producers to strengthen their market position

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Abu Dhabi – May 9, 2017: ‘Magnet’, a UAE-based platform to discuss and disseminate insights on the steel industry, convened in Abu Dhabi to further understand the current market demand and exchange views on ongoing infrastructure development projects in the UAE.

Key industry stakeholders including Emirates Steel Industries, Hamriyah Steel, Conares, Union Iron & Steel Company, Qatar Steel in Dubai and Jindal Shadeed Iron & Steel – participated in the ‘Magnet’ session held in the UAE capital. The participants cited very positive sentiments on the current steel market outlook for the rebar production.

Commenting on the meeting, HE Engineer Saeed Ghumran Al Remeithi, CEO of Emirates Steel Industry, a part of the UAE’s largest industrial conglomerate SENAAT in Abu Dhabi, said “The ‘Magnet’ plays a key role in coordination of the local steel manufacturers to face the challenges. The platform will help understand the market better and find a balance in demand and supply of the locally-manufactured steel products.”

According to him, the current market sentiments are positive. “We are here to encourage the UAE infrastructure development sector to use steel products made locally, especially the government sector projects that favour local products. We appreciate the authority’s efforts to help the local steel industry to offer their products at the best quality and at competitive prices. We have been working towards surpassing these challenging conditions with a more mature business model and responsible partnerships,” he added.

Dr. Ramzi Al Halasa, Advisor & Board Director of Hamriyah Steel in Sharjah, said, “The current steel market outlook is very stable for the UAE steel manufacturers, in terms of demand and supply. This is visible with the rise in the number of infrastructure-development projects since the beginning of this year in line with the strong recovery of economic growth. However, there are minor setbacks this time with regards to the pricing; and the Turkish import is affecting the local producers to some extent.”

“The market is stable and looks promising for the next couple of years. We foresee a good demand for our products for the ongoing projects in the UAE, especially the projects related to infra-development to host the World Expo 2020 in Dubai and other projects announced in the region. Our vision is to drive the market beyond 2020, targeting projects to support the UAE Economic Vision 2030,” he added.

Mr. Bharat Bhatia, CEO of Conares, the second largest private steel manufacturer in the UAE, said, “At the ‘Magnet’ meeting, all participating members were satisfied with the market’s current status.  Local manufacturers are in a strong position to cater to each of the upcoming projects, as steel rebar is a key construction commodity. ‘Magnet’ helps to keep the steel market efficient in the UAE, in order to meet the domestic and regional demands, balancing the supply and demand equation.”

“The current steel market outlook for the UAE is positive and demand remains stable. Monthly consumption steel rebars in the UAE is 300000 metric tonnes per month and we believe the country will continue the same consumption till the end of the current year. The UAE is self-sufficient to cater to the current demand of 3.5 to four million tonnes of steel annually. The installed production capacity of the UAE steel mills is five million tonnes. The local mills are well placed to cater the demand till year 2021,” he added.

Mr. Omar Al Mashour, General Manager of Union Iron & Steel Company in Abu Dhabi, said, “It’s really worth mentioning that we start achieving desired results from the ‘Magnet’ platform. The market share of imported steel has decreased significantly allowing local manufacturers to satisfy local demand. Moreover, a common understanding and coordination at senior levels between steel producers will definitely assist in stabilizing and balancing the market, which will eventually benefit the whole chain.”

Mr. Naushad Ansari, CEO Jindal Shadeed Iron & Steel, said, “The ‘Magnet’ forum understands and shares the pulse of the region’s steel manufacturing sector, helping to maintain a positive sentiment in the market. The rapidly growing demand for the construction material including iron and steel opens up huge opportunities not only in the UAE but the entire region as well. The number of upcoming projects has increased and slated to complete before Dubai’s Expo 2020.”

Mr. Juma Al Mansouri, VP Sales at Emirates Steel, said, “The quality of locally-made steel materials and sufficient production have diminished the need to import from non-GCC countries. The UAE steel mills are capable to cater to the current demand. However, a temporary effect will be seen on the market during the summer and Ramadan due to the slower construction activities during that time of the year. The OPEC’s decision to cut oil production in November 2016 improved oil prices, encouraging the regional governments to increase expenditure on infra-development projects for short and mid-terms.”