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GCC steel sector ‘set for major growth’

Sharjah, January 16, 2013

The GCC steel industry and allied segments are poised for a double-digit growth fuelled by demand from the core sector led by the oil & gas industry, and expanding markets like Saudi Arabia, a survey said.

The survey was conducted among exhibitors who form top executives and decision-makers of the regional steel fabrication and metal working industry at the ongoing SteelFab 2013 trade fair at Expo Centre Sharjah.

The ninth edition of SteelFab, the region's leading trade event for the steel fabrication, metal working and metal manufacturing industry, got under way on Monday and will conclude tomorrow (January 17).

According to a recent report, there are over $18 billion worth of steel projects at the study, design, tender or execution phase in the GCC, with Saudi Arabia providing the real impetus, while the region’s oil and gas industry is planning to invest $666 billion to boost its capacities.

In the UAE, Abu Dhabi itself is spending $90 billion on development projects over the next five years, while Dubai has recently announced several mega projects worth billions of dollars, which are set to boost the core sector growth.

SteelFab 2013 saw a nearly 17 per cent rise in pre-registered visitors at 2,914 as against previous year’s figure of 2,502.

On day one of the show too, there was a rise of about 12 per cent in onsite visitor registration — 940 compared to last year’s 842. On day two the number of visitors stood at 1,134.

“From the rise in the number of exhibitors, we knew the market is poised for growth,” said Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, director-general, Expo Centre Sharjah.

“Now, with the visitor turnout too witnessing a high double-digit increase, we have enough reasons to project that the regional steel fabrication and metal working industry is set to achieve a better than expected growth rate.”

According to the survey conducted during the opening day of SteelFab 2013, 50 per cent of the respondents said they expected the steel industry to grow 10-15 per cent, while the rest projected the expansion at 5-10 per cent.

Most of the 200 direct exhibitors taking part in the exhibition featuring more than 600 brands of machinery and equipment in metal forming, surface preparation & finishing, grinding & cutting, machining & other allied engineering disciplines were also positive about their growth prospects.

Fifty per cent of the survey respondents were expecting their business to grow between 15-20 per cent, 30 per cent an expansion of 5-10 per cent and the remaining 20 per cent a 10-15 per cent growth, pointing to rising confidence among key market players.

“SteelFab 2013 has enabled us to market new equipment to achieve our expected growth,” said Nawab Ibrar Ahmed, sales manager, Lion International Middle East.

“We have seen a steady rise in German participants at SteelFab every year,” said Dr Martin Riester, VDMA. The exhibition has enabled exhibitors to push for more contacts which promote new business opportunities in the Middle East region he added.

SteelFab 2013 has also seen the launch of several revolutionary technology and machinery, including SafanDarley’s electronic e-brake, Roccia Rundbiegen’s revolutionary design of plate rolling machines, Trumpf’s TruFiber fibre lasers, OMM’s longitudinal welding of tapered tubular shafts, La Rosa’s new sandwich panel manufacturing line and Gietart new paintsprayer, among others.

“We are witnessing a bigger and better event. The turnout is also better and we expect to do good business this time too,” said Anil Kumar, manager, Welding & Cutting Division, German Gulf Enterprise.

Visitors were also showing keen interest in live demonstrations of a range of techniques in welding & cutting, grinding, sheet metal bending & shearing, laser and punch press machines. – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Steel | Trade show | Sharjah | SteelFab | Fabrication |

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