SEAISI: ASEAN region proves to be a growing steel exporter

Tuesday, 27 October 2020 17:45:29 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

The ASEAN region has been importing 50 million mt of finished steel a year, while steel exports were as low as 7-8 million mt a year: however, the region’s finished steel exports doubled in volume to 15 million mt in 2019, according to a statement released by the South East Asia Iron and Steel Institute (SEAISI). Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia are the emerging main exporters of finished steel in the ASEAN region. Vietnam and Indonesia focus more on exports of flat steel, while Malaysia is an emerging exporter of long steel, especially wire rod and bar. The major markets for flat steel exports are the ASEAN-6 countries, China, Taiwan. The emerging markets for flat steel exports also include Pakistan, Myanmar and India. Cambodia and Myanmar are the largest markets for bar and wire rod, especially for exports from Vietnam and Malaysia. Apart from ASEAN-6 countries, Bangladesh and Kuwait appear to be main markets for long steel export from the region. China has become a major market for both semi-finished steel and long steel from the ASEAN-6.

Vietnam is the largest exporter among the ASEAN-6 countries. The country’s steel export volume gradually increased to one million mt in 2017 and then to two million mt in 2019. Its export volume of flat steel declined slightly in the first seven months this year. The US, Canada and Pakistan are the main destinations for Vietnam’s flat steel. Within the ASEAN-6 destinations, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand are the main markets for Vietnam’s flat steel. Vietnam exported two million mt of coated steel, 852,000 mt of welded pipes, 843,000 mt of CRC and 767,000 mt of HRC, mainly to ASEAN-6 countries, in 2019.

Indonesia is the second largest exporter among the group. Indonesia’s exports of flat steel increased to two million mt in 2018 and to three million mt in 2019. The country exported 1.8 million mt of HRC, 778,000 mt of hot rolled plate and 390,000 mt of CRC in 2019. 80-90 percent of its HRC and CRC exports consist of stainless steel products. Taiwan, Malaysia and China are the target market for its stainless steel products. The country’s exports of stainless HRC declined from 914,000 mt in the first seven months of 2019 to 717,000 mt in the same period of the current year. Indonesia’s stainless CRC exports increased by nine percent year on year to 275,000 mt in the first seven months this year.

Malaysia was not a major exporter of long steel until 2019. Malaysia’s long steel exports increased to 1.9 million mt in 2019, 70 percent of which were exports of wire rod. The country’s major markets for its wire rod exports are China and ASEAN-6 countries, while it exported a total of 1.3 million mt in 2019 and nearly two million mt in the first seven months this year. Wire rod exports from Malaysia to China made up half of the total export volume, followed by exports to the Philippines and other ASEAN-6 countries. Malaysia’s bar exports totaled 324,000 mt in 2019 and increased to one million mt in the first seven months of the current year. Exports to China accounted for more than 80 percent of total bar exports, followed by exports to Myanmar.  

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