EU import quotas deplete steadily, UK lags behind

European steel importers have now used more than half of their quotas for Q3, while UK importers have used just over a third, according to EU and UK data collected by UK Steel. Demand in the EU and UK has been weak over the summer months, but competitive imports from Asia and Turkey have taken a bite out of the market, Kallanish notes.

About 56% of all import quotas to the EU for the quarter (7.884 million tonnes) have been consumed. For standard HRC, half the quota remains unused, and no country has yet maxed out its allowance. MCS 04A and OCS material quotas, however, have already been 81% and 86% consumed respectively.

China has been active as a supplier. It has run out of quotas for category 3B electrical steel, 04B MCS, tinplate, sheet piling and other welded tubes. Turkey has run out of quota for shipments of OCS, stainless CR, merchant bars and light sections, rebars, and hollow sections. It has also consumed 99% of its quota for gas pipes. India has filled its quotas of OCS, stainless bars and light sections, stainless wire rod, and gas pipes.

Demand for steel into the UK has meanwhile been quieter. Only 36% of the total quota for Q3 (1.643mt) has been used, although UK Steel there remain some errors in the database and so figures are preliminary.

The only quota to have run out is for OCS from “other countries,” which means not the EU or South Korea. Turkey has almost fully utilised its quota for rebars and non-alloy merchant bars and light sections.

Tomas Gutierrez UK