South East Asia Iron & Steel Institute’s Secretary General Mr Yeoh Wee Jin in a presentation highlighted that pandemic has affected many lives globally, which is evidenced by significant decline in incomes and the region’s economies and ASEAN countries were hit by the Delta variant prompting more restrictions in many countries in Q3 of 2021. In particular, Malaysia introduced strict restrictions from March to May followed by another more serious lockdown from end June to September, whereby the entire capital and economic center of Klang valley in Selangor was under the most severe control. Similarly, Thailand re-introduced their curfews in July 2021 after the Songkran holidays where the population had a long holiday. The country is starting to lift the restrictions towards end of November. Starting April 2021, Vietnam faced major outbreaks of the Delta variant in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, leading to a major lockdown for these cities and affected area, comprising of more than 30% of its population and more than 3 million people. As the outbreak spread to factories, strict control in the industrial areas eventually affected productivity and output. The other ASEAN countries such as Indonesia and Philippines continued to impose various restrictions, but these have not stopped their economies from growing. Similarly, Singapore controlled the outbreaks well, until the Delta variant emerged during the later half of the third quarter, at a time when the bulk of the population was already vaccinated.All these restrictions resulted in Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam registering a negative GDP growth, while Indonesia, Philippines and Singapore continued to grow, although the growth rate has slowed down. In line with weaker economic performance in Q3 of 2021, the construction, automotive, manufacturing industries follow similar paths in their respective countries. Again, Indonesia, Philippines and Singapore registered slower growth while these industries in Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam contracted compared to the previous quarter. ASEAN -6 countries steel demand sank to 71.8 million tonnes in 2020 due to COVID19, down from 80.3 million tonnes from a year ago. The first half of 2021 steel demand for ASEAN-6 reached 38 million tonnes, 14.1% higher than the first half of 2020. However, the final demand figure remains to be seen given the weak third quarter.Most countries in ASEAN-6 have forecasted their economy at to grow at 3-4% in 2021. Thailand’s economy in 2021, on the other hand, is expected to 1% as the fourth wave of covid-19 had a more severe impact on the country’s economy. Singapore’s projection of its economy to grow at 6-7% in 2021 was mainly due to the faster recovery of the manufacturing sector as well as in the country’s economy in the third quarter than initially estimated.ASEAN-6 steel demand is forecasted to reach 77.2 million tonnes in 2021. Indonesia, Philippines and Singapore forecasted that steel demand in respective countries would reach or exceed pre-pandemic levels in 2021. Steel demand forecast for Singapore and Philippines, in particular, reach double digit growth rates of 56% and 24% respectively. Indonesia’s steel demand is forecasted reach a pre- pandemic level of 6% in 2021. Thailand’s steel demand is expected to grow moderately at 4.7% in 2021, followed by the prediction in Malaysia at 3.2%. Vietnam expected steel demand to grow 2.4% in 2021. Whether or not this forecast can be achieved really depends on how the countries contain the Delta variant and spur their economies towards recovery.