According to Platts, on August 5, the European Steel Association (Eurofer) stated that the EU steel industry is now in a "state of emergency" after the coronavirus accelerated the decline in the steel market.
Apparent steel consumption in the EU-28 fell 12% year-on-year in the first quarter - the fifth consecutive quarter after falling - following a 10.8% fall in Q4 2019 due to the business environment in the EU manufacturing sector, especially in a key automotive industry continues to deteriorate, Eurofer said in a statement. Total consumption in the first quarter in the EU was 37.6 million tons.
With the onset and continued impact of the coronavirus, future data is likely to see further sharp drops as the closure measures taken by governments since March have “heavily impacted” manufacturing activity and steel use in industrial sectors. According to the Association, steel consumption forecasts, as well as the overall economic outlook in the EU and the world, have now been lowered.
Eurofer CEO Axel Eggert noted that “The available data confirm that the crisis that began in 2019 was exacerbated by the crisis when the sector is now in a state of emergency.”
The association said the continued decline in steel demand resulted in the fifth consecutive drop in EU domestic supplies in the first quarter (down 8% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019).