In response to the second regional conference on trade exchange in steel products held in the UAE, Syrian Teshreen Daily devoted a six-page article to review the current and future prospects of the Arab iron and steel industries. Albawaba.com summarized the main statistics appearing in this article, as follows: by the end of 1999, the aggregate Arab steel production amounted to 11 million tons. This level more than doubles the output registered at the beginning of the 1990s when Arab steel production hit 5 million tons. In 1999 alone, the production level jumped by 1 million tons (8.9 percent) compared to 1998 levels. The leading countries contributing to the steel output expansion last year were: Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Morocco, Qatar, Oman and Syria. The largest expansion was achieved by Saudi Arabia, boasting a 436,000 tons increase compared to 1998.
Mashreq countries control 46 percent of the total Arab steel production, followed by Arab Gulf states with 31 percent, and Maghreb (north African) nations with 23 percent. Egypt is the Arab steel production leader by a sizeable margin, with output constituting 40.7 percent of the total Arab steel production. Saudi Arabia holds the runner-up spot with 23.3 percent.
Last year, a majority of Arab steel companies boosted their output levels. Seven Arab firms produced a combined 9.7 million tons, constituting 70 percent of the total Arab production. In 1999, the Saudi Iron and Steel Company was the leading sole producer in the Arab World, followed by Egypt's National Alexandria Iron and Steel Co. These two companies combined for 38.6 percent of total Arab steel production.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )