The Thai steel market is expected to experience consistent growth due to rising demand in the Asean countries, with prospects at home particularly bright thanks in large part to the government's 2 trillion baht (US$64bn) project for transport infrastructure, according to experts.

This transport infrastructure project along with demand from industries such as the automotive, construction, and machinery sectors, means that Thailand should witness an expanding steel market over the next seven years.

Asean's per capita steel consumption currently stands at about 90kg per person per year, which is low when compared with industrialised countries where consumption is in the range of 200-500kg/p/y. Steel demand usually runs in line with per capita GDP, and Asean's per capita GDP is expected to grow from US$3700 in 2010 to $13000 by 2030. Therefore, it is predicted that demand from Asean countries, particularly Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia, could rise from 49Mt in 2010 to 194Mt in 2030.

However, despite Asean steel markets' bright prospects, they currently rely heavily on steel imported from other countries, particularly Japan, South Korea and China.