Asia Pacific remains the world’s largest metal producer, led by booming Chinese industry. Growing global demand for and prices of iron, steel, precious and non-ferrous metals plays a significant role in the region’s industrial growth. China, Japan, Malaysia and South Korea remain global leaders in hi-tech production, fuelling demand for precious and non-ferrous metals. Asia Pacific metal exports are projected to slow down as a result of rising trade tension between China and the US.
Asia Pacific remains the largest metal producer in the world, with China alone accounting for nearly half of global metals production. The region is plentiful of metal resources with only a fraction currently being exploited, and thus a fast-growing economy and modernisation of mining technologies allows Asia Pacific to enjoy solid growth in metal extraction and manufacturing.
China, Japan and South Korea remain among the world’s leaders in hi-tech and electric vehicle (EV) production, with Asia Pacific manufacturing up to 70% of the world’s hi-tech production. Fast-growing demand for hi-tech goods and EVs is projected to further support demand for metals, primarily benefiting China, Japan and Malaysia’s precious and non-ferrous metals producers.
In line with a growing economy Asia Pacific countries enjoy an uptick in construction markets and heavy investments into infrastructure projects. Major construction activities have boosted demand for metal products, and are projected to further support domestic demand. Moreover, Asia’s automotive sector records solid growth, adding to demand for steel.
As of 2018, the US has imposed import tariffs of 25% and 10% on steel and aluminium respectively to protect US steel makers from cheaper Chinese imports. Despite Chinese government efforts to re-negotiate trade deals with other countries, the world steel production leader is projected to slow its production growth rate, in line with declining exports and rising worries about oversupply.
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