Economy February 1, 2018 | 6:48 pm

Steel exports to Haiti plunge 90% as ban weighs

Santo Domingo.-  Dominican Steel Association (Adoacero) executive director, Alfredo Baduí on Thurs. said steel exports to Haiti have plummeted as much as 90% since 2015, when the neighboring country barred the overland entry of 23 products, a measure that although lifted, continues to affect steel.

He said data from association members show reductions of up to 90% of the exports of finished steel produced in the country from 2016 to 2017, compared with 2015.

“The situation as worrisome, since such a drastic downturn in a market as important as the one in Haiti threatens the safety and productivity of the industry. It’s necessary that the required due diligence be done to be able to lift the ban.”

“The overland closure only benefits informal commerce; It’s damaging Dominican production and the Haitian government is not increasing its revenues because what has happened is that informality has exploded,” Baduí said.

“The reduction of volumes generates lower economy of productive scale, causing decrease in the utilization of productive capacity and therefore of indirect jobs that can hover around 200 seats between production, logistics and other lines within the value chain,” the business leader said.

Badui, quoted by local media, said that in 2013, Dominican Republic’s share in the Haitian finished steel market was 61%, which has now shrunk to barely 6%.

“Our country is losing competitiveness as a result of the closure. While before we were the main exporter of steel to Haiti, we are now at the bottom of the list, and our position has been taken over by Turkey and China, which represent 58 and 33% of the market respectively,” said Baduí.

He added that the overland ban has forced Dominican steel to be exported to Haiti by sea, which according to Adoacero has raised logistical cost to that market by more than 80%.

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