Industry News


JUNE 2020

Metals, engineering sectors to ‘walk the tightrope’ to economic recovery

The road to the metals and engineering (M&E) sector’s post-Covid-19 recovery will be long and will require extraordinary and targeted policies to walk the tightrope towards an economic reboot, Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) chief economist Dr Michael Ade said in a statement on June 24.

Pandemic dashes hopes for a domestic steel sector turnaround

The international Covid-19 outbreak, which has disrupted the South African and global economies, has thrown another “spanner in the works” for the already embattled domestic steel sector and could seriously hamper, or even prevent, a recovery.

Covid-19 compounds challenges in Africa

The legislation put in place amid the Covid-19 pandemic is compounding the “exceptionally challenging” business environment already faced by companies when operating in Africa, where each country presents its own challenges, says Macsteel Exports senior branch manager Adrian Isemonger.

MAY 2020

ISSF announces winners of the Stainless Industry Awards in a webinar

Columbus Stainless, won first prize for a project aimed at developing modular constructions using 3Cr12 grade stainless steel. The project was developed with Turnkey Modular, with which a manufacturing technique was achieved that takes advantage of the considerable flexibility and precision of laser-cut construction components, thus forming an exceptionally strong exoskeleton structure. This has enabled the product to be extremely scalable without the need for intervention of other processes.

Local tanks on track for delivery to Zim mine

Ten large steel tanks for diversified miner RioZim’s Cam and Motor gold mine, in Zimbabwe, are on schedule to be installed by South African stainless steel fabrication and erection specialist Betterect, as part of the mine’s gold processing plant expansion.

Lockdown further strains stainless steel recycling

Prior to the national lockdown, South Africa’s stainless steel recycling industry was under strain, facing a dramatic drop in available recycling material and increasing input costs, says Johannesburg-based stainless steel recycler Cronimet director Bernard Maguire.

Macsteel merges fluid control, pipes divisions

Steel and value-added steel products supplier Macsteel has merged its fluid control division with its pipes, fittings and flanges division. The vertical merger forms part of the company’s focus on increasing operating efficiency and strengthening its position in the challenging economic climate.

Pandemic, economic challenges to shape industry direction

Industry trends are likely to take a new direction because of the global Covid-19 pandemic and a severely constrained local economy, says steel and value-added steel products merchandiser and distributor Macsteel.

Steel production likely to stagnate or decline this year, says Roskill

Steel production in developed economies is likely to either stagnate, or decline completely, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to influence and impact on the global economy, consultancy Roskill steel alloys principal consultant Erik Sardain said on May 5.

Fitch Solutions expects most metal markets to move into a surplus this year

Most metals markets are expected to move into a surplus this year, says research firm Fitch Solutions, noting that consumption is likely to decrease more than the decreases in production capacity, as a result of the spread of Covid-19.

APRIL 2020

Stainless steel from NAS aids in fight against COVID-19

North American Stainless and its 1.500 workers are producing thousands of tons of high-quality stainless steel used on the front lines of the U.S. healthcare system as it battles COVID-19, according to the company’s CEO Cris Fuentes.

Steel downturn evident in global production figures for March

World crude steel production for the 64 countries reporting to the World Steel Association (worldsteel) decreased by 6% year-on-year in March to 147-million tonnes.

EU reviewing steel imports in view of possible glut – trade chief

The coronavirus crisis could lead to massive stockpiling of steel that could then flood the European Union when demand returns, the EU trade chief said on Tuesday, adding this was something the bloc would seek to guard against.

Organisation calls for govt assistance to ‘reshape’ steel industry post-lockdown

The decision to put South Africa under lockdown as part of its response to Covid-19 “has put further pressure on the steel industry”, says research organisation Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (Tips).

South Africa lockdown squeezes global chrome supply

Samancor Chrome, one of the world’s biggest ferrochrome producers, has declared force majeure because of South Africa’s 21-day coronavirus lockdown, removing further supply from global chrome markets.

MARCH 2020

NDE stainless steel active during COVID-19 lockdown

Along with many of our customers and the rest of South Africa, NDE is going into lockdown in full support of government’s commendable actions to slow the spread of the pandemic with the following measures (until further notice):

  • We remain in business – remotely but actively.
  • While our offices and switchboards are closed, we invite you to contact us by cell and email for information and orders – Skype and WhatsApp are also options.
  • The NDE lockdown team in the Western Cape is available to ensure all communication channels are open and that our service remains the very best that we can offer in these unusual circumstances.

Warning of ‘significant losses’ in South African mining industry if coronavirus outbreak is not contained soon

A newly released report by Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) warns that South Africa’s mining industry could suffer “significant losses” should the coronavirus, or Covid-19, not be contained in the short term, which the authors defined as being by April 2020.


Local steel industry still holds much potential

The current capacity and capabilities of the local steel industry are still largely understated, says export trade promotion agency the International Steel Fabricators (ISF).

Stainless steel growth unlikely in 2020

The level of activity in the local stainless steel sector’s value chain has dwindled in the past decade, mainly owing to international competition, low steel prices and the slow growth of the local economy.

Metals, engineering sector set for ‘unremarkable’ growth this year

Last year was generally challenging for both the domestic and global economy, as weakening demand, manufacturing and trade and investment restrained progress, with extended negative implications for the metals and engineering (M&E) sector, which is poised for “unremarkable” growth this year.


Patel asked to brief lawmakers on government’s response to ongoing steel job cuts

The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) has written a letter to Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel calling on him to brief lawmakers about developments at steel group ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA), which recently warned of additional job cuts at the company.


Coronavirus hurts base metals, iron-ore prices

The outbreak and contagion of a new strain of the coronavirus – which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December – has contributed to renewed concerns over economic growth prospects, particularly in China.




Global crude steel output increased 3.4% in 2019

Gobal crude steel production increased by 3.4% year-on-year to 1.87-billion tonnes in 2019, despite output having contracted in all regions, except Asia and the Middle East, industry association, the World Steel Association (worldsteel), reports.


Samancor Chrome may cut nearly 2 500 jobs

South African miner Samancor Chrome said it could cut close 2 500 jobs in response to weak chrome prices and power supply problems, according to a letter to unions seen by Reuters on Wednesday




Promoters of Maputo and Richards Bay LNG terminals insist projects can be complementary

The promoters of liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals at Maputo, in Mozambique, and Richards Bay, in South Africa, insist that the two proposed projects can be complementary rather than competitive as there is sufficient existing demand and growth potential in the region to support both initiatives.


Expressions of interest received for AMSA’s Saldanha Steelworks

the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) has received expressions of interest from two parties that may want to buy the Saldanha Steelworks from ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA).




Total, Gigajoule deal brings $350m Maputo LNG import terminal a step closer

International oil major Total and Southern African gas infrastructure developer Gigajoule signed a joint development agreement (JDA) on Wednesday for the importation of liquified natural gas (LNG), through the Matola harbour, in Maputo, Mozambique, from the end of 2022 onwards.


Planets aligning for SA firms as huge Mozambique gas projects get moving

South Africans have yet to grasp both the scale of the gas resources uncovered in neighbouring Mozambique and the size of the business and energy opportunities these discoveries present.


AMSA to put Saldanha Works on care and maintenance

Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) has decided to undertake an orderly and commercial wind-down of steel operations at its Saldanha Works, with the intent to place the operation on care and maintenance.




MSI launches welders’ recruitment programme to boost job creation

The Mpumalanga Stainless Initiative (MSI) and the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) have launched the Mpumalanga Informal Welders Recruitment Programme.



Seifsa president calls for greater industrial policy decisiveness

Steel and Engineering Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) president Elias Monage has called for greater decisiveness on the part of the South African government in both defining which manufacturing sectors it intends supporting, as well as in enforcing local-content rules and legally determined trade protection measures.


Global steel output rises 3.4% y/y in August

World crude steel production was 156-million tonnes in August, which was a 3.4% increase compared with August last year.


South African mining output rises for first time in nine months

South African mining output increased for the first time in nine months in July as coal and iron-ore production surged.

Mining production rose 2.4% from a year earlier compared with a revised 4.1% decline in June, Pretoria-based Statistics South Africa said in a report on its website Thursday. The median estimate of five economists in a Bloomberg survey was for a 1% increase.


AUGUST  2019


Mining, manufacturing contribute to 3.1% GDP growth in second quarter

South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 3.1% in the second quarter of the year.

This follows on the 3.1% contraction recorded for the first quarter.

On a year-on-year basis, GDP expanded by 0.9%.

Statistics South Africa head and statistician-general RisengaMaluleke on Tuesday announced that the mining industry had made a significant contribution to GDP growth in the second quarter. The mining industry grew by 14.4% quarter-on-quarter, contributing one percentage point to GDP growth.


World crude steel

Global crude steel production by the 64 countries reporting to the World Steel Association (worldsteel) increased by 1.7% year-on-year to 156.6-million tonnes in July.


Steel outlook darkens as Citi sees low prices until 2022

The steel industry is suffering a bad headache as benchmark hot-rolled coil prices have fallen 38% from their peak in 2018.


Lamergyre says steel alloy plant could create sustainable jobs

The promoters of a proposed stainless and alloy steels plant in the Eastern Cape believe that the greenfield development could support the creation of new jobs in the domestic mining and steel industries.


JULY 2019


Sector still affected by economic downturn

Owing to the global economic crisis which started in late 2008, a structural break occurred in the metals and engineering (M&E) sector, which had hitherto recorded the highest production figure of almost 120 index points, says the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) chief economist Dr Michael Ade.

JUNE 2019


Metal fabrication support programme in next 100 days – Patel

Within the next 100 days, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition intends launching a support programme for new plant and equipment in metal fabrication.



Chicago, 23 May 2019 – The International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) has announced the winners of the Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards in the categories New Technology and New Development during their 23rd conference (ISSF-23) which was held Chicago.

APRIL 2019


Global steel production increases to 444 Mt in first quarter

Global crude steel production for the first quarter of this year increased by 4.5% year-on-year to 444.1-million tonnes, global industry body, the World Steel Association(worldsteel), said in a statement on Monday.


Steel demand growth rates to moderate in line with slowing global economic growth

Global steel demand is expected to increase by 1.3% year-on-year to 1.74-billion tonnes this year, the World Steel Association’s (worldsteel’s) ‘April 2019 Short Range Outlook’ shows.

MARCH 2019


Eskom reform urgent to restore ferrochrome potential

The demise of State power utility Eskom has caused South Africa to lose its optimal position in the lucrative ferrochrome business.

Because of Eskom’s decline, unbeneficiated chrome ore exports from South Africa to China have enabled the Asian giant to ascend up the ferrochrome production ladder.



Award motivates Zambian youth to form tech firm

HIS drive to offer a solution to the energy crisis that the world is facing is what inspired Arnold Nyendwa to come up with an innovation called the Juvin Stainless Steel Cooking unit.

A cooking unit whose names he coined after his parents Justina and Vincent (Juvin) is able to perform seven functions namely: cooking, baking, frying, drying, roasting and warming, using less fuel such as charcoal.


Metals, engineering sector set for third consecutive year of growth – Seifsa

The metals and engineering sector is set to grow for the third consecutive year in 2019, despite the past year having been generally challenging for both the global and domestic economies.


Reusable straws and statement socks: mining in a changed world

A key issue for day one of the Mining Indaba is that the industry needs to transform to survive — not just in terms of technology, but also in its relationship with communities.




Africa opens up for SA’s stainless steel sector

2019 seems to be the year of an ‘opening up’ of Africa, whether it be opening trade borders or opening key infrastructure projects, all of these key developments have positive implications for the South African stainless steel sector.


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