Business

GPH Ispat exports billet worth $71m to China

Steel entrepreneurs want the end of barriers to grab the multi-million dollar global market GPH Ispat has exported 120,000 metric tons of billets worth $71 million to China, the world’s top steel producer, through five shipments since November 18 last year. Billet is the main GPH Ispat raw material for rod production. China is currently leading the world in billet production. They alone control about half of the total market. Industry Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi, Chairman of Tariff Commission, Chairman of Chittagong Port Authority, President of Chittagong Chamber and other dignitaries inaugurated the export program at a webinar on that day.

On October 5, GPH exported a total of 29,658 metric tons of billets through the Chittagong Seaport in the fifth shipment. 

They said that they currently need to pay $60-$70 per ton to ship billets from Bangladesh to China where Vietnam is paying only $20-$25 and India is paying $35-$40. Apart from the shipping cost, the production cost is also much higher in Bangladesh than that of the neighbouring countries, they added. There are many obstacles in exporting billets. Even with that, we want to spread this product in the world market.

He also said that they have invested around Tk500 crore in power and gas generation and consuming 80 to 100 MW of electricity per hour from their own substation.

“But we don’t get a single point more benefit than a factory that consumes only 100 kilowatts of electricity per hour.

According to the steel entrepreneurs, Bangladesh is now competing with China, India, Japan, the United States, Russia, South Korea, Germany, Turkey, Brazil, Taiwan, Vietnam and Ukraine to capture the multi-million dollar market for billets.

With this technology, it is now possible to produce 900-grade steel products in the country. GPH is a capital-intensive industry, the value addition of the industry is locally more than 50%. About 63 companies produce 40-grade rods.

According to the EBL report, Abul Khair, BSRM, GPH and KSRM produce more than 90% of billet capacity, which is 50% more than the annual demand of the country.

The Together alliance of the right-wing Civic Democrats, the centre-right TOP 09 and the centrist Christian Democrats came in second with 26 percent with just over 80 percent of the votes counted. Babis currently leads a minority government with the left-wing Social Democrats, which was until recently tacitly backed by the Communist Party that ruled the former totalitarian Czechoslovakia from 1948 to 1989. It will be up to the pro-Russian President Milos Zeman, Babis’s old ally, to tap the new prime minister.

“He will do his best to keep ANO in power,” said Josef Mlejnek, an analyst at Charles University in Prague.

But Zeman is grappling with health problems that have confined him to his residence for the vote as local media speculate he may struggle to even nominate the prime minister. The “Pandora Papers” investigation involving some 600 journalists from media including The Washington Post, the BBC and The Guardian is based on a leak of some 11.9 million documents from 14 financial services companies around the world.

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