Emirates Steel output up 33% in Q3 2012

Emirates Steel, the UAE’s largest integrated steel producer, recorded a 33% year-on-year increase in steel production in the third quarter of 2012, the company said in a results statement on Sunday November 11.

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The company did not disclose figures for volume growth.

The construction sector is the principal driver of growth in sales and production volumes, the company said, adding that the performance of its production assets and the continuing ramp-up of its steelmaking plants had given good results.

“The construction sector is the primary consumer of our rebar and wire rod products,” ceo Saeed Al Romaithi said. “We sell around 70% of our finished products to local markets, while the balance is exported.”

During the third quarter, Emirates Steel increased its capacity utilisation to 95%, compared with 83% in the third quarter of 2011.

Exports of finished goods were up by 10% in the third quarter, compared with the second quarter of 2012.

“The increased volume of own-manufactured steel has enabled us to remain competitive against the threat of low-cost imported materials” Al Romaithi said.

Production of direct reduced iron (DRI) went up by 20%, rebar by 10% and wire rod by 4% in the nine months from January to September 2012, compared with the same period in 2011, the company said.

Construction projects in the Gulf Co-operation Council nations (GCC) will be key drivers for the industry, Al Romaithi said.

“Although some stability is returning to the GCC’s construction sector, we believe that infrastructure projects will accelerate the region’s recovery over the next few years,” he added.

The company had made sustained efforts to increase its exports to regional markets, it said, achieving a year-on-year increase of 30% in export volumes, its most significant export markets being the GCC states.

“The expansion plans at Emirates Steel are in line with the [UAE] government’s long-term initiatives to develop and diversify the Emirates’ economy,” company chairman Suhail Al Ameri said.

In the first nine months of 2012, the company also commissioned the first heavy sections mill at its complex in Musaffah, the first in the region able to produce large-size sections, beams, columns, angles and sheet pile materials, among other products.