Steel consumption is expected to reach 36.2mn mt in Arab countries this year according to the Arab Iron & Steel Association (AISU).
Flagging demand prompted the Gulf Cooperation Council to open an investigation in October to study the impact of imported steel, as well as take measures to protect local industry through duties. AISU reported that while steel imports rose 16pc in 2018, consumption fell 8pc to 16.14mn mt, and again 7.8pc to 14.87mn mt this year.
Based on economic reforms newly adopted by the Gulf countries, George Matta, chairman of AISU’s economic committee, said that demand will increase next year with 2pc consumption growth (0.9mn mt). Rebar and section consumption will increase 30.9mn mt, while hot rolled coil demand will rise 6.3mn mt.
North African steel consumption declined 7pc to 16.8mn mt in 2019, even though it increased 7pc in 2018 to 18.14mn mt, because of reduced economic growth rates in Libya, Tunisia and Morocco. However, Matta expects steel consumption in North Africa to increase 5pc to 17.6mn mt in 2020.