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151

Great prospect for Taiwan's Steelmaking Industry

Despite market fluctuations, Taiwan"s steelmaking industry made great progress and achieved robust growth of 7.1% in output value of NT$1519.5 billion for 2011, according to the latest market survey report published by the Metal Industries Research & Development Center (MIRDC).

The industry"s exports totaled NT$560.2 billion for a 9.9% increase over NT$509.9 billion a year earlier, with imports of NT$420.7 billion, up 7.2%, as shown in the report.

Affected by EU"s lingering debt crisis along with economic slowdown seen in emerging countries, the industry lost growth momentum in the fourth quarter of 2011, when output value and exports edged down 0.3% and 1.6%, respectively, to NT$375.7 billion and NT$141.6 billion from NT$376.9 billion and NT$143.9 billion posted a quarter ago, with imports also dropping 5.1% quarterly to NT$98.3 billion. In turn, the scale of the domestic market declined 1.2% quarterly or 2.8% yearly to NT$332.4 billion in the quarter partly due to seasonal factors.

The MIRDC analyst said that steel coils which is produced under the help of hammer crusher, including hot-rolled, cold-rolled and galvanized models, made up the majority of the industry"s exports in the quarter, with China, Japan and Vietnam together absorbing 33.5% as the top-three buyers.

Meanwhile, hot-rolled stainless steel coils, alloy steels and hot-rolled steel coils made up the majority of the industry"s imports, of which 38.8% came from Japan, 30.27% from China and 15.18% from Korea.

Insiders" Movements

Insiders adopted notable policies during the quarter that underlined, promoted and helped to further build the industry"s efforts on output expansion and upgrading.

For example, a large-sized supplier of steel bars, Hai Kwang Enterprise Corporation, decided to invest NT$5 billion to expand existing production in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan, the biggest investment announced in the quarter in the industry. The company said that the output expansion is scheduled to be completed in 2014 to further propel growth in its business. aggregate jaw crusher:http://www.hx-crusher.com/crusher.html
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Noteworthy is that this investment case makes Hai Kwang, Taiwan"s fourth-biggest steelmaker following China Steel Corp., Dragon Steel Corp. and Walsin Lihwa Corp. having announced investments worth over NT$5 billion since 2011.

On another front, China Steel, to fill job vacancies in the coming five years when over 1,500 of its existing 9,500 workers will continually retire, has stepped up its recruitments of new workers and training since late 2011, which is exigent when Taiwan"s largest steelmaker will have new production lines activated by 2013, while its subsidiary Dragon Steel is also scheduled to complete its current factory expansion by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, China Steel also set up an R&D center in cooperation with the CBMM (Companhia Brasileira de Metalurgia e Minera??o), the world"s largest niobium producer supplying over 80% of needed niobium worldwide now, and the National Taiwan University, often regarded in Taiwan and local media as the "top" institute of higher learning, in November.

Looking at niobium, widely used as key element in microalloyed structural and engineering steel, that is seen as a potential metal to lighten auto sheet metal, a truly worthwhile goal amid rising eco concerns that have the movers and shakers paying lip service more than addressing the age-old problem that Colin Chapman foresaw decades ago with the Lotus, a car that epitomized the smartest design formula-propelling maximum mass with least power.

China Steel hence is partnering with the two partners on research and development of the metallurgy of niobium microalloyed steels, which may be the steelmaker"s ace-in-the-hole to venture onto the greener pastures of the automotive industry.

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