GMT+8( BJT)

CONF: Bangladesh steel scrap demand to grow steadily

Bangladesh is expected to see its demand for steel and therefore steel scrap grow steadily amid the South Asian country’s strong domestic economic growth and its programme of infrastructure construction, Sanjoy Kumar Ghosh, senior manager, Supply Chain Management at Chittagong-based long steel maker BSRM Group of Companies, shared on August 29 at SteelMint’s 4th Steel Scrap, Billet, and DRI Trade Summit in Bangkok, Thailand.

“Driven by industry, Bangladesh’s economy has been growing at an impressive rate, which is now at 8% on year, and a lot of infrastructural work along with big government projects are going on, requesting all the steel required to be sourced domestically,” Ghosh shared at the conference.

Under the circumstances, the country’s per capita steel consumption grew to 45kgs in 2017 from 25kgs in 2012, and is expected to grow to 73kgs by 2022.

With the Bangladesh government’s support in requesting domestically-sourced steel for national projects, the country’s steel production and consumption matched almost perfectly in 2018 with the former at 8 million tonnes and the latter at 7.5 million tonnes, according to Ghosh.

At present, the country hosts about 40 active steel mills, with the top five or six contributing to the dominant majority of domestic steel supply, and Abul Khair Steel (AKS) and BSRM together supplying 50% of the country’s total output.

Bangladesh, with no blast furnaces, has been primarily relying on scrap for its steel production, and its scrap imports grew 19% on year to 3.1 million tonnes for 2018, with U.S., Britain and South Africa being the top three scrap supply countries. Bangladesh also imported 125,180 tonnes of pig iron and 518,181 tonnes of sponge iron last year for its steelmaking.

“We would like to import from Japan if there are sources available, but its domestic demand for steel scrap has been rather robust in the past couple of years because of the construction of sports facilities for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” he explained to Mysteel Global on the conference sidelines.

Other than steel scrap imports, the country’s steel producers rely on the domestic shipbreaking yards for scrap supply, with the tonnage from the sector higher by an even more substantial 36% on year in 2018 to 3.15 million tonnes, or 255 vessels last year from 196 vessels in 2017, and most of the obsolete ships were sourced from Singapore, Japan, and South Korea, according to Ghosh.

Written by Hongmei Li, li.hongmei@mysteel.com

Edited by Russ McCulloch, russ.mcculloch@mysteel.com