Steel production in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa remains below the level of demand for steel in the region, making it one of the major export markets for the world’s steelmakers. ISSB maintains a fully detailed database of the exports and imports of steel and steelmaking raw materials for more than 60 major steelmaking nations, collectively accounting for 97% of global steel output. With the national trade data of the countries within the MENA region not readily available ISSB’s coverage of the world’s dominant exporters places us in a leading position to assess the markets of the Middle East and North Africa. Some of the latest data available relating to the region is summarised below.
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Crude Steel Production
Although the MENA region did see a small decline in crude steel production during the 2008 and 2009 downturn, since then output has been climbing steadily with 2014 producing a figure which is an impressive 42% above that of 2007. Six years of growth came to an end in 2015, however, as production retreated by almost 5%. Production in the Middle East held up comparatively well but in North Africa, output continued its downward trend, driven by further falls in production in Egypt.
Trade in Steel
Combined exports of Steel Mill Products (semis, long products, flat products, tubes) to the MENA region as a whole reached a peak of 50 million tonnes in 2008 before declining to just under 40 million tonnes by 2013. The last two years have seen a recovery, with 2015 showing a 6% growth to 46.3 million tonnes.
Exports to North Africa have shown a steady increase over the last few years with 2015 seeing a year on year growth of 16%. In contrast, exports to the Middle East have seen a more volatile trend, although exports to the region did increase by 1% in 2015.