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Eurofer: Imports take shine off EU steel demand growth

Europe – The EU steel market expanded by 1.8% last year and demand is expected to continue to recover in 2017 and 2018 – ‘albeit at a modest rate’, reports the European steel association Eurofer.

Improving demand for capital goods ‘should support activity in most sectors’, with export-oriented segments expected to benefit from strengthening international trade.

Total production activity in the EU’s steel-using sectors is forecast to expand by around 2% per annum in 2017 and 2018. However, Eurofer has reiterated its concerns over steel imports which, it says, climbed 10% year on year in the third quarter of 2016 and 5% in the final quarter.

Total imports jumped more than 9% in 2016 to ‘a multi-year peak’, according to the body’s director general Axel Eggert.

‘For the fourth year in a row, imports grew more strongly than the actual steel market in the EU and yet again absorbed the modest increase in demand.’ The gradual recovery of EU steel demand ‘is being hampered by unfair trade’, Eggert alleges.

‘We therefore urge the European Commission to continue to vigorously implement trade defence measures against dumping into the EU.’

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