BAHRAIN, Sept. 25 -- The future of the Middle East aluminum cable market remains "ambiguous" unless antidumping measures are put in place, according Wednesday to a senior executive at a Bahrain-based investment company.
Hamid Al Zayani, managing director of Midal Cables and chairman of its owner Al Zayani Investments said the cable manufacturing sector in the Middle East faces "aggressive market penetration" from companies in countries such as China, India and Brazil. There are already over 100 cable manufacturing firms in the Middle East, Al Zayani noted.
"The future remains ambiguous unless antidumping laws are put into place to force a fair trade and protect the Middle East market, and [unless] we focus on the Gulf companies to export," he told the Metal Bulletin aluminum conference in Bahrain.
There have been a number of trade spats in recent months, with the European Union last year imposing five-year duties on aluminum foil imported from China, Brazil and Armenia after the European Association of Metals complained about alleged dumping. A number of other probes on metals products related to alleged dumping are in the works.
Dumping is when a manufacturer exports a product to foreign markets at a price either lower than its domestic market or below the cost of production.
According to Zayani, demand for aluminum cable in the Middle East is rising, and will exceed 1.2 million metric tons by 2014. Aluminum cable production capacity in the same period is slightly higher at around 1.3 million tons. Saudi Arabia is the largest consumer and producer of aluminum used in cable.
Zayani, who is also vice chairman of the Arab Federation for Engineering Industries and secretary general of the Arab Cable Manufacturers Association, said utility companies use aluminum wire for transmission of electricity within their power grids. Its main competitor in this sector is copper.
Midal Cables has a contract with Bahrain's state-owned Aluminium Company of Bahrain, or ALBA, using the smelter's metal to make products like aluminum rod and alloys for power transmission lines.