It seems that 2010, as the past months of it have shown, will be a year filled with powerful achievements at the level of Arab steel industry, rendering it a new beginning towards enhancing the power of this industry. The proof of this is in the volume of investments directed towards steel industry and the magnitude of projects launched or to be launched during the year.
A quick look at the news headlines in this issue of «ArabSteel» is enough to say that it will be the year of achievements, and one that will see us through the negative effects left by a past year on the future of steel industry.
Steel industry have seen a decline in profitability during 2009, yet, this hasn׳t kept the industry from going on, venturing into new projects or expanding the existing capacities. He who works in this industry knows well that the strength of steel industry lies in its survivability and ability to face challenges.
It is fair to say that Arab steel industry, like other steel industries worldwide, put its survivability and sustainability to the test in 2009, proving its ability to withstand challenges despite the decline in profits for some companies and even losses to other companies.
Most companies have moved from the «struggle for survival» state to recovery. In terms of figures that constitute the proof to ups and downs, we can say that most Arab steel companies have proven their ability to cope with the new conditions in spite of hard times, endeavoring to increase their output in order to meet the needs of local markets that have seen a very strong growth in many Arab countries.
These companies have marked new records in terms of production and sales compared to previous years. If, for instance, we take the production of 5 Arab steel companies in 5 countries: Qartar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Morocco, that have marked nearly 10.6Mt of production in 2009, we can see that these companies have ramped up their production by more than 19% compared to 2008, and increased their sales even further. This came along in spite of the influx of competing products from countries writhing under recession who found themselves compelled to export a major part of their production to these markets for prices that had a «dumping» nature.
Steel industry kicked off the new year with many projects coming on-stream. In January, Al-Hamiyah steel project had been launched in Sharjah, UAE, aiming to produce one million tons of rebar per year. The new hot rolling project in Morocco was launched in February 2010, with a 1.5Mt annual capacity. In addition, «Foulath» of Bahrain have celebrated in April the inauguration of its new pelletizing plant with 6Mt/y capacity, along with inaugurating the United Stainless Steel Company (USCO) CRC steel mill. The foundation stone of «SULB» complex was also laid in Bahrain; a facility consisting of a 1.5Mt/y DRI plant, a 1.2Mt/y mill producing medium to heavy sections and a 1.3Mt/y melt-shop. In Syria, the International Company for Steel Rolling started commercial production as of the beginning of 2010, in addition to other projects for a number of companies in many Arab countries.
In this context, Qatar Steel entered into a strategic partnership with South Steel of Saudi Arabia. The first phase of this project is currently underway, including a melt-shop that has a capacity of one million tpy of billets and 500,000tpy of rebar. All this is but an expression of the extent of confidence in the Arab markets to absorb these new capacities.
Likewise, Ezzsteel of Egypt announced that it has reopened the Suez Flat Steel mill which have been shut down for almost a year. The company also announced starting production in the steel billets mill established in Suez during the second quarter of 2010 with one million tons per year of capacity. Egyptian Iron & Steel Co., on the other hand, have announced new investments to upgrade its mills.
All the above mentioned works and achievements underline the fact that 2010 made the best of 2009 in stimulating and developing new capacities, restating the vitality of steel industry and its ability of sustainable growth.
The new projects focus on vertical integration via building new melt-shops that can meet the needs of existing mills and can be considered as a qualitative development contributing to enhance the steel industry׳s future growth.
In such a positive climate starting in 2010, and within the framework of such exquisite dynamism, the Arab Iron & Steel Union held its annual conference in Marrakech, Morocco, wherein that conference and the success it achieved at many levels brought a new evidence that Arab steel industry have become, by virtue of its increasing growth ability and its interrelation with local market needs, one of the key industries that contribute to push the growth forward and positively affect the future that holds more amble development for steel industry, both locally and regionally.
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Challenges Facing the Arab Steel Industry
The Steel Industry is the Development Drive
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Integration of steel industry in Arab countries
Despite CrisesThe Future Needs Steel
The Arab Steel Industry : Permanent Growth
Steel : The Industry Of The Civilized Progress
The Steel Industry Makes Investment
40th Anniversary of the Arab Iron and Steel Union
Outlook : Arab Steel Industry During 2010 - 2011
2011 : A Promising Future for Arab iron and steel industry
Industry of Steel
Arab Steel Industry Recovers
When will the Arab markets stop being net importers?
A New Beginning
2010 Towards More Focus On Regionalization
2009: STATIONS ON THE ROAD TO CONFRONT CRISIS
STEADFASTNESS: THE WAY TO FACE THE CRISIS
Are Imports a Solution or a Threat?
The Struggle For Success
Steadfastness and Not Waiting Strategy
The year 2009: A Look Forward
The global financial and economic crisis has imposed new rules of the game
To What Extent does the Economic Crisis Threatens Steel?
When will our power be in our exports and not in our imports ?
Is Entering into Steel Industry a Risk?
Where Does The Arab Steel Industry Stand?
2007: New Dynamism of Arab Steel Companies
Increase of imports and new expansions