The Dawn reported that steel bar and flat products stakeholders in Pakistan are perturbed over slowdown in sales during July to August saying that most of the projects in public and private sector have been on hold coupled with rising prices of long and flat products. Former Senior Vice President, Karachi Iron and Steel Merchants Association, Mohammad Saeed Shafiq said sales of flat iron and steel products are down by at least 25-30% in the last few months owing to shrinking demand coupled with 40% increase in prices in the last one year because of massive rupee devaluation against the dollar and imposition regulatory duties and anti dumping duties on flat products. He said flat products are used by auto industry, water and oil tanker makers, pipe makers etc Auto sector is also facing sales crisis.
National Steel Advisory Council General Secretary Irshad Mowjee said at present inflation has eroded all margins and no company is making profits, gas prices have increased by 30% and the rupee devaluation has taken its toll as lots of inputs are import based. He said “It is very difficult for big businesses to curtail production as fixed costs are huge and closing down production is not feasible. We have to continue production and stocks are piling up. If this continues then we will be forced to cut production.”
He added “Gadani, which was supplying raw materials to a lot of small rolling mills, has become uncompetitive, leading to the closure of some small mills in Sindh and Balochistan. However larger units, that have more staying power, are living on the hope that things will turn around.”
Source of information