At ISSB we are constantly searching for new countries to add to our ever-growing database and I am pleased to announce that we have recently added Bosnia, which further enhances our coverage of non-EU European countries.
Although relatively modest, Bosnia is a growing producer of steel and in 2015 the country made 819K tonnes of crude steel, an increase of over 3% year on year when many countries have seen declining production. It has recorded growth each year since 2009 with a 58% increase over that time. The only producing plant in the country is Arcelor Mittal’s 51% owned Zenica facility which, as well as having both a blast furnace and an electric arc furnace, also produces Billets and various long products.
Exports grew by 12% year on year, driven by a 21% growth in wire rod shipments and a 42% increase in rebar exports. In the more niche areas, the country also exports wire and steel castings. The main markets for the country’s exports are Eastern EU states and other former Yugoslav countries with Serbia, Romania and Kosovo together making up just under half of all steel exports.
Bosnia is a net exporter of steel but imports also grew in 2015 with a 17% increase when compared to 2014 with imports of coated sheet and welded pipes driving the growth. Italy is by far the largest supplier of steel to the country, with about a third of imports originating in the country but Serbia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Germany and China also ship decent quantities.
The country is well supplied with its own raw materials and is a net exporter of coke and scrap and has also traditionally been an exporter of iron ore to Poland and the Czech Republic. Since September, however, they have been importing iron ore from Brazil, presumably as locally mined ore has become uneconomical given the collapsing price of the commodity last year. The other main raw material import is coking coal, which is imported from the US at a fairly consistent rate of about 1.3M tonnes per annum.
Although not immune to the wider economic woes in Europe, Bosnia’s GDP growth has held up relatively well, running above 3% for the past two quarters and with no domestic producers of flat steel products, the country should remain a fairly robust, if niche, market for organic coated sheet and HDG steel in particular.
For further information or similar analysis on other markets, please contact us at ISSB or visit our website.