Industrial metal supplies industry leaders have called for an end to the “burden of debt” as the cost of supplying steel to the industry continues to rise.
Key points:Industrial metal supply chain is already under pressure due to increased demand from China and the global economic downturnIndustry has been hit by a series of high-profile disasters, including a major fire in 2015 and a fire that killed a crane operator in 2016Industry is looking to cut costs to stay competitiveThe industry is also facing pressure from a number of different factors, including the recent industrial disasters, which saw a crane fall off the roof of a Perth building and a crane that fell onto a residential street in Victoria.
The Industrial Metal Supply Council (IMSC) says the industry’s future is “very uncertain” with a “significant risk of an interruption” to the supply chain in 2020.
Key point:Industry leaders say there are a number issues that need to be addressedIndustry leader Dr David Drysdale says the current “burdens of debt”, which the industry has to bear due to rising demand from the global economy, is a significant issueThe industry’s “biggest concern is the impact of a global economic collapse,” he said.
“If we don’t take immediate action, we risk disrupting the supply chains of industries around the world and the economies of people who rely on the industry for their livelihoods.”
Mr Drysdon said it was important for the industry to be resilient, but acknowledged there was no silver bullet to reduce the risk of disruptions.
“It’s going to be a difficult time in the near future, but we are going to need to manage that risk and have a plan in place to make sure that we can meet the demands of the industry,” he told ABC News Breakfast.
Mr Dyrsdale said while the industry was struggling to find its footing, the current environment was “not conducive to long-term growth”.
“We have a large workforce, we are working with our suppliers, we have got a lot of capacity, we’ve got a whole range of processes that we need to get to,” he explained.
“But we’re going to have to do everything we can to stay afloat in this challenging time.”
The industry leaders want to see a review of the cost structure, and a return to a free-trade agreement that would give the industry a fair amount of flexibility in negotiating prices.
The IMSC is one of a number organisations that have signed up to a petition calling on the Australian Government to review the costs associated with manufacturing steel.
It was signed by more than 200 companies and trade associations, including mining companies, construction companies and steel producers.
Industry groups are also pushing for the Government to ensure the cost and quality of steel is set out in a free trade agreement, with a focus on safety and environmental standards.
“We need a free and open trade agreement that protects the industry from any future disruption in the supply of steel,” Mr Drysdel said.
Industrial steel supply chain: Key issuesIndustry executives have also urged the Government not to impose additional costs on the sector.
“The cost of the steel supply is going to rise in coming years, it will increase in the future, and that will put pressure on our suppliers to deliver on a more predictable and reliable supply,” Mr Linn said.
But the industry leaders also warned that there was “a risk of disruption” if the Government did not act on its plans to allow industry to negotiate a free association agreement with the Government.
“There’s a risk that the Government will not be able to negotiate the free association agreements and that that will be a significant risk for the future of the industrial metals industry,” Mr Mckinlay said.
Topics:economics-and-finance,government-and/or-politics,industry,business-economics,industries,federal—state-issues,corporate-governance,industrials,trade,government,state-parliament,parliament-house-3300,wa,canberra-2600,act,parlin-wa-2650,tas,act-5606,brisbane-4000,sydney-2000,wollongong-2500,china,united-statesContact Josh Schmallen at [email protected]