Brussels — The latest EU customs statistics show that third country imports remained on a rising trend in July and August: Finished steel imports rose 32 percent year-on-year, compared with a 6 percent rise in Q1 and 33 percent rise in Q2. This means that over the first eight months of this year total finished steel imports rose 21 percent. While flat product imports grew 15 percent year-on-year, long product imports increased by a staggering 49 percent, says Eurofer, the European Steel Association.
These growth rates of third country imports arriving in the EU contrast sharply with the only very moderate growth of apparent consumption. Eurofer statistics show demand for finished steel products in the 1st half of 2014 rising almost 5.5 percent compared with 2013.
For the whole of this year around 3.5 percent growth in apparent steel consumption is foreseen, reflecting the usual seasonal destocking in the second half of the year. This underpins that the rebound in steel demand is only gradually gaining momentum.
Interim General Director Axel Eggert: “That is exactly the reason why we are so concerned about the sharply rising trend in imports we are observing since the start of the year. Low-priced imports benefit more from the fragile recovery in the EU market than domestic producers. Moreover, the combination of volume and pricing effects exacerbates the already severe margin pressure in the EU steel sector”.
Source: Eurofer- The European Steel Association