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Steel supply update: Orrcon Steel back on track

The recent flooding disaster on the NSW North Coast, Central Coast and Sydney areas had disastrous consequences for so many people on Australia’s east coast, and added to the steel supply issues facing Orrcon Steel and the entire Australian steel industry.

A complicated network of suppliers, manufacturers and processors across the country, and across the world, contribute to the Australian steel industry. Each of these operations is dependent on transport infrastructure, including maritime, rail and road.

Transport issues

Transport issues

The recent NSW flooding event affected the rail corridor between Brisbane and Sydney, road networks between Sydney, Brisbane and Northern NSW, and has had impacts on transport within the Sydney metropolitan area.

Orrcon Steel, a major steel manufacturer, was unable to receive raw materials to their Salisbury site due to damage to the NSW rail corridor, which impacted its tubular manufacturing operation.

Track repairs

Track repairs

Thankfully, the train tracks have since been repaired and raw materials are now flowing through to the Orrcon Steel Salisbury plant.

The team at Orrcon Steel has also increased the number of train arrivals and is utilising maritime transport options from Port Kembla to bring in large volumes of raw materials to rapidly grow their inventory levels. Production schedules are now stabilising and the flow of Orrcon tubular products over the next few weeks will enable its distribution centres to begin to rebuild inventory levels.

While their team has been able to fill the majority of current orders in recent weeks, customers may be impacted by the shortage of tubular products. The Orrcon team is working as quickly as possible to restore capacity and they have confidence to commit to forward orders based on the tubular mill’s continued recovery.

Continued strain on supply

Continued strain on supply

While the track repairs will help minimise the supply issues, shortages and delays are expected to continue due to the cumulation of 2020/21 events, which have made steel and metal supplies extremely difficult to guarantee.

The continuing COVID-19 pandemic and associated government restrictions have affected production, shipping and imports, while the current shakeup within the international shipping industry has led to a significant shortage of shipping containers, increased shipping and storage costs, and shipping delays.

The importation of steel and metal into Australia has been significantly affected and is at historic lows.

Our commitment

Our commitment

Edcon Steel is committed to serving our customers, and we are continuing to work with our suppliers to source and secure the stock we need.

We have been in constant conversation with our network of suppliers from across Australia to try and fill our shelves and minimise the impact of recent supply disruptions.

We will continue to keep searching for the products you need. We have worked hard over the past six months to ensure we are well stocked and will continue to do so.

However, the strain on the market has made sourcing some sizes of products a difficult task. We urge our customers to be careful when making commitments relating to the delivery of steel or metal products in the current market, regardless of where they source their steel or metal.

We are asking you for your continued understanding in these difficult times and are committed to doing everything we can to minimise the effect on you, our customers.

We may not be able to deliver the products or service that we have in the past, so please keep this in mind for your next job.

Customers should also keep in mind that reduced supply and rising demands have resulted in increased prices, which are expected to continue throughout 2021. Read more about steel price increases.

Read more steel articles to find out more about the steel industry, customer projects and product resources.