Europe – EU apparent steel consumption is forecast to climb 2.3% when taken across the whole of 2017. And steel demand is expected to continue its gradual recovery in 2018, driven by the anticipated increase in real steel consumption in the EU market and very modest support from the stock cycle.
Apparent steel consumption fell slightly across the region in the second quarter of this year but early estimates for the third quarter ‘signal a return of EU steel buyers to the market’, states European steel association Eurofer.
The forecast for the final three months of 2017 is for continued year-on-year growth – but dampened by seasonal destocking. ‘Import distortions’ are once again identified as ‘the main risk for the stability of the EU steel market’.
Business conditions for EU steel-using sectors is said to have remained supportive to growth in the second quarter of 2017 as production activity advanced 3.1% year on year; furthermore, growth for the first quarter of 2017 has been revised upwards to 6.3% when compared to the same period in 2016.
‘The positive trend in output over the first half of 2017 was the result of an increasingly synchronised and robust performance across EU member states,’ it is noted.