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CSSC to Step Up Exploring ASEAN Market Taiwan's Structural Steel Market Nears Saturation

Aug 07, 2014 | By Steve Chuang

With Taiwan's domestic market for steel structure showing little growth potential, China Steel Structure Co., Ltd., (CSSC), a Taiwanese manufacturer of structural steel and affiliate of  a major steelmaker in Taiwan's China Steel Corp., will step up exploring business opportunities in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) in the years ahead to secure sustainable development, according to the firm's chairman, M.H. Chen.

Chen says that there appears to be little room for Taiwan's steel structure market to grow further in the short-term, considering governmental budget for public works has continuously dropped yearly, coupled with declining large, private investments in  residential and factory constructions, resulting in anemic demand for structural steel.

In contrast, emerging markets for structural steel in ASEAN, including Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia, show strong growth potential to capture CSSC's intense interest to speed its penetration there.

Chen says that CSSC has actually explored overseas markets for some time, having decided to refocus on the ASEAN bloc in the coming years mainly due to strong local demand that the firm has tapped.

For instance, Chen says that CSSC's subsidiary is a subcontractor for China Steel Sumikin Vietnam JSC to supply structural steel for its steel complex in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, as well as having won a tender to build the largest bottle cap production plant in Myanmar after having been involved in construction of the country's tallest building earlier.

With ever more Taiwanese enterprises migrating to set up plants in Southeast Asia to trigger tremendous demand for structural steel, Chen says that CSSC will take advantage of partnerships that it has built with local subcontractors and suppliers to explore business opportunities more actively and rationally.

Institutional investors say that CSSC's capacity utilization is likely to slide to around 80% in the near future, when it will restructure customer base to focus more on Southeast Asian markets. It's fortunate that the firm, to cushion its  transition, has garnered orders from Taiwanese  customers for more than 100,000 tonnes of structural steel, to be filled continually starting later this year and help sustain sales in 2015.

The firm just reported revenue of NT$3.626 billion (US$120.86 million) for Q2, up 35.45% quarter-on-quarter, and net profits of NT$136 million (US$4.53 million), soaring 21%, with EPS (earnings per share) also growing from NT$0.58 to NT$0.71, a single-quarter high. For H1, the firm's EPS hit a record high of NT$1.28. (SC)


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