Morocco steel imports up 33% in first-half 2012

Steel imports into Morocco went up by 33% in the first six months of 2012, according to data released by the national customs authority.

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Morocco imported 1.23 million tonnes of steel with a value of $845 million in the first half, increases of 33% and 23% respectively against the corresponding period last year.

The volume included scrap, ferro-alloys, and semi-finished and finished products.

The principal suppliers were France, at 318,000 tonnes, Spain (157,000 tonnes), Turkey (135,000 tonnes) and Portugal (104,000 tonnes), the customs authority said.

The imported material included 405,000 tonnes of semi-finished products, 288,000 tonnes of melted scrap, 105,000 tonnes of angles and other sections, and 100,000 tonnes of hot rolled flat products.

Morocco exported about 115,000 tonnes of steel over the same half-year period, customs said.

Morocco has produced about 400,000 tonnes of crude steel in the past eight months. This already exceeds last year’s total annual production of less than 300,000 tonnes, according to the World Steel Assn (worldsteel).

Infrastructure and housing projects have been the main drivers behind Morocco’s demand for steel, while consumption by the country’s developing industrial sector has yet to reach a peak.