2018 European steel market demand growth or will face the threat of imports

European steel association Eurofer said on Tuesday that European steel demand is expected to rise in 2018 and be wary of the possible impact of import growth on the EU’s local steel industry.

The apparent consumption of the 28 EU countries in 2018, which does not take into account the changes in the inventory at the beginning of the period, is expected to rise by 1.9%. The growth rate is in line with that of 2017, and the demand in the manufacturing and construction industries remains firm.

Eurofer expects the year-on-year rate of increase in consumption to fall to 1.4% in 2019.

The association also said that the upward trend of the euro may be detrimental to exports, but market participants will pay more attention to imports.

In view of the rising steel prices in China, limited export earnings to Europe and the EU’s series of trade protection measures on dumping and subsidized products, the EU’s imports of steel dropped by about 1% in 2017.

According to the Eurofer Association, the steel products exported to the EU by China decreased by 41% in 2017, the exports of Russian steel to the EU by 32% and the exports of Ukraine to the EU by 31%.

However, last year’s EU imports of Indian steel up almost 100%, imports of steel from Indonesia rose more than 100%, imports of steel from Turkey increased by 64%.

The association said supply shortfalls caused by trade protection measures were quickly filled by resources from other countries.

“For the exporters, the EU is a good choice and exporters can put hard-to-digest domestic output to the EU market,” said Jeroen Vermeij, Eurofer’s economic director, in a press conference.

Eurofer and his colleagues are anxiously waiting for U.S. President Trump’s decision on the results of Section 232.

Although the main purpose of trade protection measures is to suppress excess capacity in China, it may lead to the diversion of more steel products to Europe.

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Post time: Feb-08-2018
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