EUROFER: Steel imports to EU in 2011 to grow faster than total market

Friday, 22 April 2011 17:06:47 (GMT+3)   |  

The European Confederation of Iron and Steel Industries (EUROFER) has said that for 2011 and 2012 it is expected that third country steel imports into the European Union (EU) will continue to grow faster than the total market and faster than steel deliveries from EU mills into the internal market. Accordingly, steel imports into the EU are foreseen to grow 12 percent in 2011 and six percent in 2012, compared with a projected growth in apparent steel consumption of around six percent in 2011 and 3.5 percent in 2012. Steel deliveries from EU mills are forecast to increase by around five percent in 2011 and 3.5 percent in 2012.
January 2011 customs data appear to underpin this projection, showing imports rising 68 percent year on year and 16 percent compared with the 2010 average.
The main risk to this forecast is weaker-than-expected domestic demand in other regions, EUROFER said. This will lead to temporarily higher import volumes into the EU if production is not adjusted accordingly.
In 2010, steel imports into the EU rose by almost 30 percent in 2010, a faster rise than seen in apparent consumption or in deliveries by EU mills.

However, according to EUROFER, this growth figure hides significantly diverging trends at the product level. The strongest increase in imports in 2010 was registered for semis, rising 42 percent compared with 2009. Also, flat product imports increased sharply, and were 29 percent higher than in 2009. In contrast, long product imports stabilized at the year-earlier level.
As far as the main countries of origin in 2010 are concerned, Russia and Ukraine accounted for 50 percent of total steel imports into the EU, and for almost 90 percent of semi-finished steel imports. China remained an important flat steel exporter to the EU, accounting for 25 percent of total flat steel imports. Chinese flat steel exports to the EU in 2010 rose 166 percent compared with 2009. In the second half of 2010, flat steel imports from Turkey showed a marked increase, rising 144 percent compared with the first half of the year in question.

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