The Federation of Egyptian Industries submitted a report Sunday to Minister of Trade and Industry Rachid Mohamed Rachid saying that local steel manufacturers lost 38 percent of their market share this year. The report attributed the decrease in sales to the 2.5 million tons of steel imported from Turkey.
The report said that the introduction of Turkish steel increased supply to 1.5 million tons, five times the usual inventory rate. This caused some manufacturers to sell at a loss, while others had to close factories. According to the report, these imports threaten current and future investment projects in the steel industry, which are worth some LE40 billion. They also caused the government lose US$1.2 billion in hard currency sales, the report said.
The report also said that local steel production covers market demand and allows for a reserve of one million tons every year. This balance has been shattered by foreign countries flooding the Egyptian market, which they are doing sas a result of the global financial crisis, according to the report.
Other countries, including Turkey, impose customs on steel imports to protect local industries, while Egypt is not taking any similar protective measures, the Federation of Egyptian Industries report said.
Local steel prices decreased 48 percent in November 2008 in anticipation of the first batch of imported steel arriving a month later.
With an annual production capacity of 21 million tons and a local demand of only 6 million tons, Turkey has 26 percent of the global steel export market, making it the world’s largest steel exporter.
Steel manufacturer Mohamed el-Marakbi says that Rachid has promised to consider immediate protective measures against steel imports if it is proven that they are the reason behind the decline in local sales.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.