14 August, 2019

Saudi steel demand recovers from three-year slump

Demand projected at 4.4 mn tonnes in 2019

A worker looks on as a crane lifts a roll of steel wires at a factory in Nantong, Jiangsu province, China July 3, 2018. Image used for illustrative purpose.

A worker looks on as a crane lifts a roll of steel wires at a factory in Nantong, Jiangsu province, China July 3, 2018. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Stringer

14 August 2019
Steel demand in Saudi Arabia recovered in 2019 for the first time since 2016 on the back of an upswing in public projects, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The world's largest oil exporter consumed about 2.6 million tonnes of steel in the first half of 2019 and demand is projected to reach 4.4 million tonnes through the year compared with 4.2 million tonnes in 2018, the Arabic language daily Aleqtisadia said, quoting Ahmed Al-Hussein, steel supply director at Saudi Arabia's National Committee for Steel Industry.

"Steel demand in Saudi Arabia has reversed a downward trend since 2016 and is expected to continue recovery through 2019," he said.

"I believe we are ahead of a new period of growth in the steel industry in the Kingdom due to a recovery in the construction sector thanks to the large projects approved by the government within Vision 2030."

Hussein said the 13 steel plants in Saudi Arabia, the largest Arab economy, have a production capacity of about 14 million tonnes a year but were operating at half that level due to slack demand.

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)

(anoop.menon@refinitiv.com)


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