UAE steel industry to grow 25% in 2013
The increasing demand for steel in the UAE market will boost the industry by 25 per cent in 2013, Bharat Bhatia, the CEO and founder of Conares, a leading steel company, told Gulf News in a interview.
“The installed capacity of the steel market in the UAE has witnessed a steady growth in 2012 at 2.1 million metric tones and expected to reach 3.6 million metric tons by the end of 2013.”
Bhatia attribute this expected growth in the steel market to the growing trade and real estate sectors in the UAE.
While there are only six firms only into this business but with different activities and production lines, he expected newcomers and bigger investment not only in the UAE but in the region.
Conares is a leading steel company that was set up in Jebel Ali in 1997 as steel trading centre to start its first production line in 2005.
Spread its facility on half million square feet, Conares today produce 750,000 million metric tons of different steel products representing 15 per cent of the UAE share market.
Exporting to six main markets including Iraq, Australia, US, Canada and Far East, its exports share to the GCC market represent 50 per cent.
“We are only steel company who has faith in this economy and we expect the growth in this region, our investments are worth $150 million. We are very much hopeful on Expo 2020, Dubai stands good chance due to its infrastructure and Air and Sea connectivity,” he added.
Pointing to 100 per cent growth in the company’s sales, Bhatia added: “Our products are directly related to real estate and we see real estate sector is getting back to the track.”
“We are planning to increase our production capacity as well as verify our products.”
“We have seen positive signs from the banking fraternity and this really helps to promote with this business further across the region,” he said. He remarked the advantage and benefit of the forthcoming project across the emirate, pointing to the Etihad Railways project and nuclear plant development in Abu Dhabi.
“Moreover, the new Airport in Jebel Ali connected with the sea port. This opens up the opportunity to the world to use such an infrastructure and encourage business community across the world to think of having their presence in this country.
However, Bhatia remarked that despite the openness policy and aggressive approach to tackle the overall situation which help entrepreneur like to invest in this region, he called upon the government to revise certain rules and regulation to protect the investors in the steel business and the industrial sector in general.
“To encourage attracting investors to the industrial sectors, the government has to insure regular power supply by investing in renewable energy as well as to put tougher restriction on the trader in the UAE.”
The demand on steel in the UAE is estimated at three million metric tonnes per year and the installed capacity of the markets is three million metric tonnes, which attracted traders to import from Turkey, the most competitive market, he clarified.
“This issue is one of the main challenges to our industry and the government should put more effort to protect this industry by imposing five per cent customs charge on some of the imports.”
Currently the UAE customs left the five per cent fees on the imports of steel products justifying this as it add values to the market.
“These practices eradicate the price variation between the local products and the exported ones and in turn it cuts our profit.”