MANUFACTURING: Steel Sales Falling Sharply
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DOMESTIC carbon steel sales totalled 0.886 million tons during the last quarter of 2008, a decrease of 27.1% when compared with the corresponding quarter of 2007, reports the SA Iron and Steel Institute.
During 2008 domestic sales of carbon steel flat products increased by 0.4% while domestic sales of profile products increased by 3.0% compared with 2007, resulting in a total increase of 1.7% for this period.
During quarter four of 2008 domestic sales of carbon steel products decreased by 42.8% compared with the third quarter of 2008.
Imports of finished carbon and alloy steel products totalled 167 352 tons (171 341 tons including semis) during Q3 of 2008. This was 9.8% of total apparent domestic carbon and alloy steel consumption, an increase from 8.2% in 2007. According to statistics released by Customs and Excise, imports of primary carbon and alloy steel products (excluding semis, wire and stainless steel, but including rails) increased by 51.5% during Q3 of 2008 compared with the corresponding period of 2007. Imports during the third quarter of 2008 increased by 18.1% compared with imports during the second quarter of 2008.
Imports of drawn wire (all grades) amounted to 9 451 tons, semis to 3 990 tons (excluding stainless) and primary stainless steel products (excluding stainless drawn wire) to 8 194 tonnes during Q3 of 2008.
During the first eleven months of 2008 imports from the EU 27 consisted mostly (24%) of rails or 98% of the total 61 920 tons of rails imported into South Africa during this period. Alloy steel hot-rolled coil and sheet to the volume of 51 654 tons were imported from the EU27 during the first eleven months of 2008 or 80% of all alloy steel hot-rolled coil and sheet imports into South Africa during this period.
Carbon steel hot-dipped galvanised sheet to the volume of 25 283 tons were imported from the EU27 during the first eleven months of 2008.
Imports from China consisted mostly (18%) of carbon steel hot-rolled coil and sheet to the volume of 23 660 tons during the first eleven months of 2008. Reinforcing bar to the volume of 15 369 tonnes were imported from China or 62% of all re-enforcing bar imports into South Africa during the first eleven months of 2008.
Imports from India consisted mostly (36%) of carbon steel hot-dipped galvanised coil and sheet during the first eleven months of 2008 or 39% of all hot-dipped galvanised coil and sheet imports into South Africa during this period.
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