The Manufacture and Wholesale of Basic Iron and Steel examines developments and investment in the sector, provides import and export data and discusses the factors that influence the success of the industry. Profiles for 39 companies are provided, including for the four primary steel producers, AMSA, Cape Gate, Columbus Stainless and Scaw Metals. Also profiled is Evraz Highveld Steel and Vanadium which initiated voluntary business rescue proceedings in April 2015 but concluded a contract manufacturing agreement with AMSA during December 2016. According to the agreement, Evraz Highveld will produce large structural steel products from blooms and slabs supplied by AMSA’s Newcastle and Vanderbijlpark plants that will be used in domestic construction and infrastructure projects.
The Manufacture and Wholesale of Basic Iron and Steel
Steel manufacturing plays a crucial role in the beneficiation of South Africa’s iron ore, and also supports a number of key industries such as construction, automotive manufacturing and mining. The iron and steel sector produced 6.1 million tonnes (Mt) of crude steel in 2016, exported 2.0Mt of primary steel products worth R21.9bn, and contributed 1.5% to the country’s GDP. Statistics show that every 1,000 tonnes of locally-produced steel adds R9.2m to GDP, and provides three direct and three indirect jobs.
Continuing Pressure on the Sector
The iron and steel sector continues to be adversely affected by the global oversupply of crude steel, lower priced imports from China and poor domestic demand. Although upstream producers like ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) are enjoying some protection in the form of import duties imposed by the International Trade Administration Commission (Itac), the many converters, fabricators and wholesalers who operate in the downstream steel industry continue to struggle with high prices and are described as being “under siege from finished product imports.”