Bahrain Steel, a key pellet supplier in the GCC and sister company of merchant bar producer SULB, continues to strengthen cooperation with foreign customers, aiming to benefit from strong raw materials segment fundamentals. The company hopes to take advantage of market activity in China.
Generally high iron ore prices in the global market are playing in favour of Bahrain Steel. The pellet producer has entered the Chinese market this year and has sold 100,000 t of the product there, according to Ahmed Al-Ghamdi, general manager of Saudi SULB cited by local media. The raw materials company plans to 200,000 t by the end of 2021.
One of the key reasons for such activity is favourable pricing for semis and raw materials, which encourages GCC suppliers, including Bahrain Steel, to strengthen their overseas presence. “We see good potential in cooperation with GCC companies, including Bahrain. Big demand, consistent business,” a representative of a Japanese trading company commented.
Over January-July 2021, Bahrain ramped up iron ore exports by 58% year-on-year to 5.4 million t, almost reaching a full-year result of 2020 (around 5.6 million t), according to the International Trade Centre. The lion part of the volumes was purchased by Egypt (1.3 million t), Saudi Arabia (1.3 million t), the UAE (1.2 million t), Oman (769,000 t), and Algeria (563,000 t).
Bahrain Steel operates two iron ore pelletizing plants with a total capacity of 12 million tpy. The producer provides high-quality iron oxide pellets: DR grade pellets for its customers in the Middle East, India, Far East, and Southeast Asia, while BF grade is also utilized from time to time.