Balli Steel, one of the world’s largest privately owned independent commodity traders, has furthered its expansion plans into the Asian steel market with the appointment of Mr Gianpiero Repole as Business Development Director. Gianpiero joins Balli Steel from Noble Commodities where he held the position of Executive Vice President of Steel in Hong Kong.
Gianpiero’s appointment is part of a strategic move by Balli Steel to strengthen its operations in the increasingly significant Asian steel market with a specific focus on China which now accounts for approximately 50% of both world steel production and global consumption.
Gianpiero has pan-Asian experience of the steel market and an extensive network of contacts which spans the region. He will spend a considerable amount of time travelling across the company’s network of offices and will be constantly promoting the business in both established and new markets. Gianpiero will also focus on increasing Balli Steel’s share of the flatroll trading market and looking at ways of maximizing revenue across the company’s Asian operations.
Vahid Alaghband, Chairman of Balli Group, commented: “We are very pleased that Gianpiero has joined Balli Steel as his experience and contacts will be invaluable to us as we look to expand our trading operations across the Asian markets. We see a number of strong opportunities for Balli Steel in the region over the next 18 months and believe that we are now well positioned to capitalise on these prospects.”
Gianpiero Repole commented: “My new role at Balli Steel is an exciting challenge, which brings with it countless opportunities to promote the company’s operations across Asia. My appointment coincides with a considerable strengthening in the Chinese steel market as both production and consumption levels continue to rise.”
Figures from the World Steel Association show that crude steel production in China increased by 5.4% year-on-year in August 2009, whilst global production declined by 18.1% over the same period.
Balli Steel estimates that Chinese steel production already stands at over 400 million tonnes in the first seven months of this year compared with 560 million tonnes during the whole of 2008 and only 200 million tonnes as recently as 2000. Increased supply has enabled China to become one of the leading exporters of steel, joining the ranks of the EU and Japan, with exports exceeding 20 million tonnes.
Nasser Alaghband, Director of Balli Steel commented: “The fortunes of the Asian and GCC steel markets have reversed over the past 20 years. In the 1990s and early 2000s the Middle East steel market was booming, however, now it is the Asian markets, led by China that has a dominant global position, whilst the Middle East markets remain subdued. We expect this trend to continue as the Chinese and Indian economies expand and we have already identified a number of key opportunities for Balli Steel across the region.”