The European Steel Association
Uploaded by: Knoema
Accessed On: 06 December, 2018
EU28 apparent steel consumption grew by 4.4% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2018.
Healthy levels of real steel consumption, in combination with stock building in the steel distribution chain in this period, led to this growth.
In the second quarter of 2018 domestic deliveries from EU mills to the EU market rose by 3.7% year-on-year. Third country imports rose by 9.8% compared with the same period of 2017 and surpassed the already extremely high level of imports registered in the first quarter of 2018 by almost 5%. The share of imports in EU apparent consumption rose from 23.2% in the first quarter to almost 25% in the second quarter.
The continued, marked increase in import supply in the second quarter appears to confirm previous concerns about third country exporters pushing extra volumes to the EU market in anticipation of safeguard measures, and a willingness of buyers to take certain speculative risks. EU steel market fundamentals are expected to remain supportive to a continued but moderate increase in apparent steel consumption. However, ongoing trade frictions with the US, and cooling global demand, suggest that external risks could continue to climb, which in turn would increase uncertainty and lead to weakening prospects for EU steel users.
Moreover, other trade barriers which are being considered by the Trump administration, such as tariffs on EU automotive exports to the US, could lead to a further escalation of the trade dispute and have a damaging impact on steel demand.Nevertheless, EU apparent steel consumption is forecast to rise by 2.2% in 2018 and by a further 1.1% in 2019