Quarterly Report – April/May 2019

The UAE will be the fastest-growing economy in the GCC region this year along with Oman, driven by the non-oil sector, a multi-billion stimulus package for Abu Dhabi and projects linked to Expo 2020 in Dubai, according to the Institute of International Finance (IIF). The IIF’s analysts have projected that the UAE’s real GDP will grow 3.1% in 2019 as compared to the 2.9% estimated for 2018. First-quarter projections are stronger for large companies in Dubai than for SMEs, with respective composite BCI scores of 131.2 and 118.8 points. For most parameters, forecasts are more optimistic for large companies than for SMEs.

As mentioned previously, the UAE has a solid industrial base and stainless steel is widely used across all end-use segments and in many applications throughout hospitals, healthcare facilities and other constructions. The most common use of stainless steel in Dubai is in modern construction and architecture due to the material’s strength, flexibility and resistance to corrosion. It is used for example in the exterior cladding for large high impact buildings such as Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest building), which is composed of reflective glazing with aluminium and textured stainless steel spandrel panels and stainless steel vertical tubular fins imported from China.  Experts say that the total length of the stainless steel “bull nose” fins is 293 times the height of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Dubai will add another super-tall tower to its growing list of record- breaking landmarks, which is set to surpass the height of Burj Khalifa. The organisers of Expo 2020 in Dubai organizers “plan to award a total of 47 construction contracts valued at AED 11 billion”.  The trend towards sustainable building also favours the use of stainless steel, which often comes from recycled metal.

India remains a large home for stainless steel scrap from the Middle East due to logistics and strong demand while some higher nickel alloy grades can still find their way to more complex nickel alloy manufacturers.

LME nickel averaged US$ 12,387 per tonne for the first quarter as against US$ 11,472 for the final quarter of 2018. Slower production increases for leading supplier Indonesia and continued growth in stainless steel demand are forecast to extend the supply shortage in the global nickel market, supporting price gains through 2019



Omar Al Sharif - Omar Al Sharif (Middle East)

Omar Al Sharif

Sharif Metals, Int'l LLC (ARE)

Middle East
Quarterly Report – April/May 2019