EU STEEL DEMAND CRASHES IN
2012 BUT SMALL GAIN FORECAST FOR 2013
Apparent consumption of finished steel in the EU-27 is expected to
slip in 2012 by more than 13 million tonnes (8.7 percent) according
to MEPS (International) Ltd. The banking crisis created tight credit
restrictions. Steel prices were in decline. Customers reduced their
inventories and were not prepared to order significant quantities of
material for the fear of lower prices in the future. High rates of
unemployment and subdued household consumption added to the
difficult market conditions.
A modest increase in demand is anticipated in 2013. A degree of
inventory building is expected and price increases are a real
In 2011, crude steel output expanded to 177.7 million tonnes from
its low point a year earlier. Sovereign debt problems, suffered by
many member states, started to reduce economic activity and with it
steel demand in 2012.
Economic growth in the short term is likely to be sluggish. Public
sector finances are expected to be tight for some years ahead.
Private sector borrowing will be restricted as the banks try to
shore up their balance sheets. Investment in infrastructure projects
will be limited. Any upturn in the consumer goods sector is forecast
to be quite modest.
MEPS expects the outturn for 2012 production of crude steel to be
just below 170 million tonnes. Slow but steady growth is anticipated
to 2016. A figure of 188.5 million tonnes is anticipated at the end
of the forecast period. Pig iron outturn will follow a similar
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