Malaysia Hiap Teck Joint Venture To Be Profitable If Current Steel Price Holds-Official

© Nikkei Markets

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 17) — Malaysian steelmaker Hiap Teck Ventures expects its joint venture company Eastern Steel to be profitable if the price of steel slabs remains at the current level of $450/ton, its group executive director said Monday.

“We are operating at our full capacity of 700,000 tons per annum and have incurred positive cash flow,” Foo Kok Siew told reporters after its annual shareholders’ meeting in Selangor.

Hiap Teck Ventures was in the red from 2015 to 2017 after operations at the Eastern Steel were stalled. “Our downstream operations (trading and manufacturing) have always been profitable,” Foo added.

Eastern Steel’s furnace in Kemaman, Terengganu ceased production after steel slabs price dropped to $250/ton in 2015, thanks to the influx of cheap imports from China. It resumed production in July this year after the Chinese production capacities fell.

Foo said 60% of Eastern Steel’s production is exported to the neighboring countries mostly to the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Taiwan.

– By Gan Pei Ling
– Edited by Sayantika Bhowal