BRUSSELS Feb 5 European steel demand is likely
to fall further this year before a mild rebound takes hold in
2014, though it will remain well below pre-crisis levels, steel
industry body Eurofer said on Tuesday.
Eurofer said in a statement that despite several economic
indicators improving since November, the EU steel market "looks
set to remain stuck in reverse gear".
"The late 2012 rise in bookings confirms the likelihood of a
'technical restocking' scenario in (the first quarter of) 2013,"
said the trade group, whose members include ArcelorMittal
, ThyssenKrupp and Tata Steel.
"However, the market will continue to lack any positive
demand impulses from end-users until the final quarter of the
year," it added.
Eurofer expects "apparent" steel consumption, which takes
into account changes in stock levels, to return to growth from
the third quarter, but to still fall overall by 0.7 percent this
year, before a 3.0 percent increase in 2014.
Even then the 146 million tonnes of steel consumed or pushed
into inventories would be 27 percent below the peak pre-crisis
level in 2007.
Apparent steel consumption dropped 9.7 percent in 2012,
Real steel consumption, reflecting end-user demand, fell 5.1
percent last year, with a further drop of 1.8 percent seen this
year and a 2.0 percent rise in 2014. Growth would only come from
the final quarter of this year.