Taiwan’s steel imports fall 9% in Jan-Jun 2012

Taiwan imported 6.84 million tonnes of steel with a value of $7.49 billion in the first half of 2012, according to figures recently released by the south-east Asian nation’s customs authority.

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The volume of imports – which included scrap, ferro-alloys, and semi-finished and finished products – was down by 9% compared with the corresponding period last year, with the value down by 19% on the same comparison.

The first-half imports came from Japan, which provided 1.69 million tonnes, the USA (1.62 million tonnes), Russia (700,000 tonnes), China (624,000 tonnes), South Korea (414,000 tonnes), Brazil (270,000 tonnes), South Africa (229,000 tonnes) and Hong Kong (202,000 tonnes), Taiwan customs reported.

These volumes included 2.59 million tonnes of ferrous scrap, 1.98 million tonnes of semi-finished steel, 430,000 tonnes of stainless steel flat products, 364,000 tonnes of ferro-alloys, and 302,000 tonnes of hot rolled flat products.

Over the same period, Taiwan exported 5.2 million tonnes of steel with a value of $5.02 billion, an increase of 4% and a reduction of 8% respectively against the corresponding period last year.

The country’s main export markets were China, which took 775,000 tonnes, the USA (342,000 tonnes), Japan (446,000 tonnes), Thailand (337,000 tonnes), Malaysia (382,000 tonnes), South Korea (341,000 tonnes), Indonesia (376,000 tonnes) and Vietnam (364,000 tonnes), Taiwan customs said.

By product area, the main exported items were hot rolled flat products (1.57 million tonnes), coated flat products (1.13 million tonnes), cold rolled flat products (810,000 tonnes) and stainless flat products (440,000 tonnes), customs added.

Taiwan is the 12th-largest steel-producing nation. It produced 22.7 million tonnes of crude steel in 2011, up from 19.6 million tonnes in 2010, according to the World Steel Assn (worldsteel).

This 15% increase represents one of highest growth rates among steelmaking nations.