Perspective – August 2016

johnFor the first five months of this year, supply of stainless steel primary products into the local market is 3.9% down on the same period last year but was the same in 2015 compared to 2014. This reflects the subdued sentiment of most sassda members in 2016.

The primary products apparent consumption figures for 2016 are distorted by a 360% surge in destocking and export of flat products, presumably by distributors in response to the weakening Rand. This has resulted in the apparent consumption for the first five months of this year being 56% down on the same period last year and 12% lower for the last 12 months compared to the previous 12 months. Apparent consumption was 9.9% down in 2015 compared to 2014, also due to an increase in destocking and export of flat products in the second half of 2015.

The finished product historical trade analysis has now been completed. From this, there was a trade surplus of 6 748 t in 2015, made up of 73 843 t
of imports and 80 591 t of exports. Taking this into account, the total local market consumption of stainless steel was 134 678 t, down 11% from 2014. The next phase of this sassda trade project is to identify products in the 73 843 t of imports that could be made locally by sassda members, based on sufficient economies of scale and capability. On the export side, sassda is analysing products that are currently being exported, and determing possible additional export destinations.

Trade and statistics are just one of the many products and services that sassda offers to our members. To gauge the value that our members derive statistics 2016from sassda, an annual member satisfaction survey is conducted. The latest survey showed that over 70% of respondents derived average value or better from sassda compared to 62% last year. Most members now think we are getting better at adding value to their businesses – 63% compared to only 42% in the 2015 survey. The survey showed that our performance in all areas has shown an improvement with significantly more value being derived by our members from products and services in the Marketing, Export Promotion and Member Engagement strategic pillars.

The results of this survey were presented at the Annual General Meeting in July, along with sassda’s highlights for the previous 12 months. Over 70 people attended the AGM which was also webcast from Johannesburg to regional AGMs in KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape. The new MOI was voted on and unanimously accepted. The main change was the new funding mechanism. The levy system was dropped and in future, the funding members will fund the association, based on the previous year’s primary product production for local consumption or imports on a pro rata basis.

The minimum threshold for becoming a funding member is 100 tonnes of primary product production for local consumption or imports per annum. Other categories of membership were included, namely; ordinary members, retired members, student members and associate members. There is no charge for retired, student and associate members. Sassda would particularly welcome retired people from our stainless steel industry to become part of sassda.

Sassda also highlighted the biennial Sassda Columbus Stainless Awards at the AGM, with the gala dinner being held on the 20th of October. Entries to the awards close at the end of August and there is no charge to enter. If the paperwork is an obstacle to entry, contact sassda and we will visit you, if required, to complete the paperwork.

The new main committee was announced at the AGM and this committee has since elected the board (see pages 28 and 29). On this note, I would like to thank the main committee and board members for their guidance and leadership over the past two years and also welcome the newly elected
members. I am sure that the next two years will be exciting and, most importantly, that sassda will continue to improve our value proposition to members.

John Tarboton
Executive Director

macsteel vrn

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