Egypt Independent

Local steel producers make cry for help

Local steel manufacturers have asked the Ministry of Trade and Industry for help in offsetting recent losses incurred as a result of waning demand. Some have announced plans to lodge an official complaint against imported steel dealers who they accuse of flooding the domestic market with less expensive products.

According to one ministry official, however, no such complaints had yet been received.

Officials of the Bishai Steel Company, Egypt’s second largest producer, said they had temporarily halted production since company warehouses were already full to bursting.

Officials at Ataqa Steel said the company currently had 47,000 tons of the commodity in stock worth a total of LE272 million, hindering the prompt payment of interest on bank loans.

Total domestic steel demand reached 4.2 million tons this year compared to 2.4 million tons last year, representing an increase of some 75 percent. Of this year’s total, however, 3.8 million tons were imported, causing a dramatic decrease in sales of locally-produced steel.

According to Assistant Minister of Trade Hisham Ragab, current laws regulating the domestic steel market allow the consumer to benefit from competition between local steel producers and importers.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.