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‘Gradual strengthening’ expected in EU steel use

Belgium – Recessionary pressures in the EU are likely to ease from the second quarter of 2012 onwards, according to the latest economic and market assessment from European steel association Eurofer. As a result, the Brussels-based organisation expects the downward trend in apparent steel consumption in Europe to ‘€˜reverse into a gradual strengthening’€™ in the second half of this year – although not enough to prevent an overall demand fall of 2.7% for 2012.

Eurofer’€™s Director-General Gordon Moffat comments: ‘€˜The recent trend in the indicators is consistent with a stabilisation in economic fundamentals after months of weakening; this could pave the way for a cautious recovery later in the year. Owing to solid order backlogs and support from the weaker Euro on export markets, activity across the EU’€™s manufacturing sector has been holding up relatively well.’€™ On balance, activity in steel-using sectors is expected to drop by less than 1% in 2012.

Mr Moffat expresses confidence that, in 2013, ‘€˜a further improvement in the business cycle will result in a modest rebound in real consumption and trigger some restocking’€™. For this reason, the organisation is predicting that apparent steel consumption will rise by 2.5% next year.


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