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Why is the steel industry in Egypt declining?

Al-Monitor - The prices of reinforcing bar, also known as rebar, have been generally falling on the Egyptian market since the last quarter of 2019, hitting a low point in February before moving up again.

The largest rebar companies in Egypt had been repeatedly reducing their prices, which dropped to as low as 9,300 pounds ($598) in February, said Mohammad Hanafi, director general of the Chamber of Metallurgical Industries of the Federation of Egypt Industries.

“The decline in steel prices in the market is due to the low prices of raw materials globally — pallet, iron ore and scrap — in addition to the reduced price of the dollar against the pound,” Hanafi told Al-Monitor. Another factor has been an oversupply of steel. Also hurting Egypt's steel industry is that it pays above-average energy prices while trying to cope with other market forces.

The Egyptian pound has been trading strong against the dollar for the first time since the liberalization of the exchange rate at the end of 2016 within the framework of an economic reform plan supported by the International Monetary Fund. At that time, the exchange rate for the Egyptian currency went from roughly 9 pounds to the dollar to roughly 18.

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