By Nihal Mounir
Businessmen in Egypt’s rebar industry expect the price of a tonne of locally produced rebar to increase by anywhere from EGP 120 to EGP 150 by the beginning of January 2013.
The Ministry of Agriculture will continue to enforce the policy enacted last month, imposing a 6.8 per cent protectionist fee on imported rebar at a minimum rate of EGP 299 per tonne.
The price of steel metals experienced a sharp price increase on 26 December in the London Metal Stock Exchange, with a tonne of billet rising by $15, to reach $560. Rebar rose by $10 a tonne, totalling $610.
The price of scrap metal rose last week from $380 to $383 per tonne, according to a report released by the Metal Industries Chamber of the Federation of Industries.
Mohamed Hanafi, the executive Director of the Metal Industries Chamber, expected the price of steel to increase by EGP 120 per tonne during January 2013. This would be the result of a rise in both the price of billet and energy used to produce steel.
He added that the “high fees imposed by the Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade on steel imports would not have a large effect on the local market, but that they rather sought to enable local companies to be able to compete in international markets.”
Ahmed al-Zayni, president of the Public Division of Building Resources at the Cairo Chamber of Commerce, expected the price of steel to increase by EGP 150 pounds by January 2013. He attributed this to the “monopolistic practices” of businessmen and local distributors.
After the decision was made to impose new fines on imported steel, factories raised the price of steel for consumption from EGP 4,400 to EGP 4,600 per tonne.
Samir Noaman, sales director for Ezz Steel, said, “The rise in world prices of steel would inevitably have an effect on the local market, especially with the increase in the price of the U.S dollar to EGP 6.2 pounds.”
Muhammad Al-Marakabi, president of Al-Murakabi Steel Company, said that a rise in the price of raw metals would lead to a rise in the price of steel by January 2013, regardless of the economic recession the country is undergoing.