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South Africa waits to release some capacity to become net steel exporter again

11 Jul 2022 16:29 reported by Lemon

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South Africa has turned from a net exporter to a net importer in the steel industry, hit by rising production costs and a shortage of steel supplies, the South African Iron and Steel Institute (SAISI) said in a report.

Steel adds more than 5% to South Africa's GDP and consumes about 5 million tons of finished steel a year.

South Africa's steel imports reached a record level of nearly 1.7 million tons in 2021, due to the closure of Highveld and Saldanha steel mills in the past two years.

SAISI secretary-general Charles Dednam said that South Africa's status as a net importer is not permanent and could be redeemed by releasing some unused capacity, which is only about 60-65% utilized, providing an opportunity for its steel industry to explore markets in the region.

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