The government is preparing to mandate a national standard for non-construction reinforcing steel by next month. Director General of the Manufacturing Industry Base of the Ministry of Industry Panggah Susanto said the mandatory application of the Indonesian National Standard (SNI) for steel for public use (BjKU) is needed to protect the interests of consumers.
He explained that the government and the steel industry association want to prevent the circulation of “sissy products”, steel products of inappropriate quality, in the domestic market.
Producers producing “banci products”, added Panggah, could harm the climate of the domestic steel industry by circulating low-quality products at lower prices.
"The difference between capacity and demand for steel in Indonesia creates a gap that leaves the market vulnerable to distortion," he said today.
Apart from implementing standards, Panggah explained that the government is also trying to reduce the market distortion by increasing the national steel production capacity so that it can more optimally meet market demand.
Director of Metal Base Material Industry of the Ministry of Industry I Gusti Putu Suryawirawan explained that the government is still waiting for WTO approval to implement compulsory SNI BjKU.
Previously, compulsory SNI was enforced for concrete reinforcing steel products (BjTB) through the Minister of Industry Regulation no. 06 / M-IND / PER / 2/2008.
BjTB standards are stipulated in SNI 07-2052-2002, SNI 07-0065-2002 and SNI 07-0954-2005.
The regulation, said Putu, regulates the standard obligations for the use of reinforcing steel for construction purposes.
However, he explained that the development of non-construction projects such as fences, billboard poles or shop houses increased the need for SNI BjKU obligations.
"Not only that, sometimes someone produces BjKU with fins so that people think it can be used for construction purposes too," said Putu.
Panggah claimed that compulsory SNI application for BjKU has received support from all reinforcing steel producers in Indonesia.
"Producers have committed starting last February to only produce BjKU according to SNI standards," he said.
Currently, there are 44 IISIA member companies and 24 non-member companies that have obtained SNI for the production of reinforcing steel concrete.
Indonesia's production of rebar last year reached 1.88 million tons or 97.5 percent of the total consumption of this product in Indonesia.
Utilization of national concrete iron production is only 32.2% of the total installed capacity of domestic industrial concrete steel which reached 5.84 million units.
As of the third quarter of 2011, the metal base material industry's growth reached 12.69%. The growth of the base metal industry in the same period was 18.22%, while the downstream metal industry grew -1.57%.