Finished steel consumption in Thailand declined by three percent year on year in the first quarter to 4.3 million mt, according to sources, citing the Iron and Steel Institute of Thailand. Despite some revival in March, overall demand in the country was lower in the first quarter, reflecting a 3.9 percent decrease in longs steel consumption over the quarter and 2.4 percent contraction in flat steel demand.
As a result of lower demand, steel production declined by 2.9 percent to 1.9 million mt in January-March, mostly because of lower long steel output. Imports fell by 6.2 percent to 2.7 million mt over the same period. Longs imports lost 11.5 percent, while flat steel shipments were down by much smaller pace – by 4.3 percent to 2 million mt.
In March alone, consumption in Thailand was 1.7 percent higher year on year to 1.5 million mt mainly covered by much higher imports, while production posted a big fall due to the pandemic. Steel output was 26.6 percent down in March compared to the same month a year ago to around 545,000 mt, while imports exceeded 1 million mt, up by 19.9 percent.