Domestic steel consumption this year will grow by 5-8 per cent, or around 17-18 million tonnes, as the Thai economy has started to recover.
Steel demand will also grow under the “Made in Thailand” policy announced recently in the Government Gazette by the Comptroller-General. Under the policy, government agencies have to procure not less than 60 per cent from domestic produce and the FTI has included steel in the list. The policy is expected to be effective in February and will give an impetus to use of local steel in construction work. Although the new regulation allows imports if necessary, government agencies are expected to follow the regulation.
However, the steel industry still has to be closely monitored vis-a-vis global steel price, which has been steadily rising since the end of 2020, especially due to increasing Chinese demand despite the Covid-19 situation. Demand from China increased by 8 per cent in 2020, compared to 2019, forcing China to import every type of steel.
Meanwhile, many countries faced economic recession, both in Europe and Japan, causing many steel furnaces to be shut down, pushing all types of global steel prices, including construction steel, up by 10 per cent.
Nava said global steel prices will continue to rise until the first quarter of 2021 and should fall in the second quarter as steel companies that were shut down due to Covid-19 gradually reopen.
Published : January 19, 2021
By : The Nation