Thailand’s steel industry is expected to grow by 15-20% this year, helped by the government’s infrastructure investments.

Wikrom Wajragupta, president of the Iron and Steel Institute of Thailand (ISIT) said this year’s demand should be at least 11.5Mt, which might rise to 13Mt if they were lucky.

This year the steel industry should see positive signs, with the government’s Thai Khem Khaeng programme starting to have an effect, he said. Mr Wikrom warned there could be political problems, such as the dissolving of Parliament, but it will not cause problems for the steel industry.

He said steel prices would remain volatile until April when new negotiations on the prices of coal and iron ore are expected.

The ISIT has employed a Thai consulting company to perform a study on setting up an upstream steel industry, which will incorporate the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand’s idea of an ‘eco-industrial town’ focused on raising the living standards of the surrounding communities.

The two areas chosen for the study are Thailand’s eastern coast in Rayong and Chanthaburi provinces, or the country’s southern coast.
Source: Bangkok Post, Bangkok; 3 Feb 2010