EUROFER: Imports, Soft Demand Forecast Pressure European Steelmakers
In an economic outlook issued Tuesday, the association said the EU steel market grew 3.3% in 2018. But at the same time, imports grew 12.6%. Domestic shipments, meanwhile, rose a mere 1.7%, it said.
“This represents yet further loss of market share for domestic producers,” said EUROFER general director Axel Eggert. “The impact of imports having surged over 2018 has squarely hit home.”
Adding to the problem, it said, is a subdued market outlook for 2019. The association is forecasting that the EU’s apparent steel consumption will recede by 0.4% this year, but may grow by 1.3% in 2020.
“With imports remaining at elevated levels and exports on a downward trend in early 2019, the justified conclusion seems to be that there is no evidence of an easing in competitive pressures in international steel markets. With global steel overcapacity still estimated to be 550 million metric tons by the OECD, it is of the utmost importance that individual countries and regions dismantle market-distorting subsidies and other government support measures,” the association said.
You can find EUROFER’s full forecast here.