Research and consulting company CRU and the Southern Africa–German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK), along with global trade show, Wire & Tube as lead sponsor, on Monday kicked off the inaugural Africa Wire, Cable & Tube Conference, which is being held until November 13 in Johannesburg.
CRU Wire and Cable head Michael Finch said the event had gotten off to a promising start, with 135 confirmed delegates and more than 20 exhibitors.
Opening the proceedings, speakers indicated that the event served as a platform for the local industry and stakeholders to meet with international supply chain participants and discuss the main trends impacting on the global market and how they could be applied to the opportunities and challenges being faced across the continent.
In this vein, Finch spoke briefly on current trends in the global economy and the impact of these on regional insulated metallic and wire markets.
He noted that the slowdown in China was weighing heavily on growth in global demand.
This year, China is achieving about 1.6% year-on-year growth in total aggregate insulated wire and cable demand, CRU research shows.
Pullback is also being experienced in Western Europe; however, CRU expects prospects to lift a little next year.
In Africa, CRU expects a relatively healthy level of demand this year, supported by various infrastructure projects.
While Finch noted that while Africa was not the largest market, the continent and certain countries did show potential for growth.
He noted that the continent was a diverse market and, therefore, CRU undertakes detailed country analysis of the wire and cable industries, to fully understand it.
Moreover, the company must also understand the raw materials markets for wire, cable and tube to understand these industries.
In this regard, there has been a considerable pullback in aluminium prices this year, which impacted on the global market wire and cable value, which shrunk noticeably this year, he indicated.