Feb 25, 2011
Structural steel company optimistic about growthBack
Engineering|Luanda|New|Pretoria|Africa|B&T Steel|CoAL|Explosives|Projects|Safety|Africa|Angola|Australia|Guinea|Mozambique|Sierra Leone|South Africa|Automotive|Building|Certain Steel Products|Explosives|Manufacturing|Products|Services|Steel|Steel Industry|Steel Price|Steel Prices|Steel Structures|Ben Dicks|Queensland|Biotechnology
© Reuse this
Structural engineering company B&T Steel warns that recent increases in steel prices, as a result of the flooding in Queensland, Australia, are having a devastating impact on the profit margins of projects for which prices were quoted in 2010.
The company, which designs and manufactures steel structures, says that the floods that devastated Queensland, which is a major exporter of coking coal, an essential steelmaking ingredient, resulted in increases in the steel price in January and February.
Further, it notes that the weather-related events in Australia have also led to shortages of certain steel products. “We find that merchants are on allocations and are only allowed to keep a certain amount of stock or purchase a certain amount of stock. Regular price increases from the mills also make pricing on jobs difficult,” says B&T Steel sales and marketing director Ben Dicks.
The company reports that one way to combat these issues is to carry stock, but it adds that not all companies are able to do so. Companies then also risk the possibility of projects being cancelled or delayed, which could further impact on the com- pany’s bottom line.
Meanwhile, the company reports that, over the past few years, the steel industry has dealt with, and overcome, many challenges.
It states that the steel industry showed a steady growth pattern in 2010, despite the fact that the market has become competitive.
“Last year also showed that the profit margins on projects are being minimised, which means that everyone needs to work smarter – a trend that is sure to resonate throughout 2011,” says Dicks.
“With the local market being so competitive and price sensitive, companies are beginning to look across borders for contracts. For some reason, South Africa seems to be excluded from the rest of Africa, as opposed to being part of Africa,” he adds.
Trading in Africa
Nevertheless, B&T Steel has a strong presence in Africa and, through good marketing, hopes to maintain and increase its presence. For this reason, the company also has a strategic marketing campaign in place that serves to create awareness among key stakeholders.
“We are currently involved in three projects in Angola, which includes a go-kart facility in Luanda, a warehouse and a workshop in Soyo and other mini warehouses.”
B&T Steel reports that it is also busy building a feed mill, in Mozambique, a manufacturing factory, in New Guinea, and a storage facility for explosives on a mine, in Sierra Leone. Two large projects that the company recently completed, include an automotive assembly plant, in Rosslyn, Pretoria, and a warehouse for agricultural biotechnology corporation Monsanto, in Lichtenburg.
“At B&T Steel, we are continually upgrading and improving our occupational health and safety management and, during 2011, we will be concentrating on obtaining our Occupation Health and Safety Advisory Services 18001 accreditation, which has great credibility in our industry,” comments Dicks.
“Currently, we find ourselves moving into a market that is competitive. We are tendering on some of the larger projects and we have invested in employing new staff and machinery to meet the demands of this market,” he says .
Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Steel News
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
This Week's Magazine
While Ekurhuleni-based transformer manufacturer Reliable Transformers currently designs, manufactures and tests its products according to the SANS 780 specifications for distribution transformers and other applicable transformer specifications, it is working towards...
Global endpoint security solutions company Kaspersky Lab has introduced new measures to prevent cyber criminals from accessing sensitive data, alongside its malware-signature and heuristic device analysis detection methods. Threats to mobile devices have increased...
To ensure uptake and a positive impact, Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) networks in cities must be provided at schools, community centres and commercial centres to enable citizens and government to access information that will improve access to and delivery of services....
Eco-estate Monaghan Farm, located near Lanseria airport, north-west of Johannesburg, has taken a new approach to modern living and sustainability with its 517 ha development, dedicated to farm living.
Forklift and lift-truck distributor Goscor Lift Hi-Reach launched the Genie SX-180, the tallest self-propelled super boom in Africa, in Johannesburg last month. “As the official distributor of the well-known Genie range of equipment in Southern Africa, we are pleased...