A dramatic market improvement for zinc sent Padaeng's five-month metal sales to grow by 17%.
Padaeng said domestic market for zinc improved significantly when its metal sales in the first five months this year surged 17% year-on-year from the same period last year. The worldwide metal price also increased due to the growing demand.
Mr Somluck Tulkamthornchai, Padaeng Industry Plc's Senior Vice President-Marketing, said the company's metal sales in the first five months this year rose 17% to 30,284 metric tonnes from 25,940 metric tonnes in the same period last year, reflecting the continued improvement in domestic market. He attributed the increased sales to the business recovery and expansion of zinc galvanised steel sheet and pipe manufacturers who accounted for the majority of the company's customers.
The company targets the proportion of domestic sales to export this year to 73 to 27, respectively from 66 to 34 last year and projects domestic demand to grow 5-6% to 87,0000 metric tonnes this year compared with actual demand of 82,671 metric tonnes last year.
The world price for zinc continued to rally in the first half this year with the price rising to an average of US$1,135 per metric tonne over the past five months due to the higher demand in Europe, America and Asia and the lowest world stockpile over the past seven years.
Many institutional analysts forecast that world zinc price will rally to an average of US$1,100-1,200 per metric tonne this year, compared with an average of US$1,077 per metric tonne last year. Mr Somluck said world demand for metal continued growing this year to about 8.39 million metric tonnes, an increase of 2.6% from the previous year.
Galvanised steel manufacturing remains the biggest zinc consumer because zinc is much better at resisting the corrosion than painted steel, thereby helping it save long-term maintenance cost. As well, many firms opted to use the low cost zinc galvanised steel in their bids submitted to the governments in many countries to help them save long-term maintenance costs as required in the bidding terms.
In Thailand, the use of zinc galvanised steel in infrastructures such as roads, bridges, electric poles and mass transit systems is rare and is lower than certain countries in Asean, especially Malaysia where zinc demand is 6.6 kilogrammes per head on average while zinc demand in Thailand is only 1.7 kilogrammes per head.
Thai people may not perceive in using zinc galvanised steel and technology applied to the production,'' said Mr Somluck. To raise the public perception on this issue, Padaeng in collaboration with International Zinc Association will organise a technical seminar on June 30, 2000 at Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel in Bangkok. The seminar will be a forum for participants in the zinc related industries to exchange views and modern technology applications.