EU passenger car registrations fall 20.6% in April

New passenger car registrations in the European Union fell 20.6% year on year to 684,506 units in April, as supply chain issues weighed on car production, data from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association showed May 18.

Except for 2020, when registrations were hit by the pandemic, this was the weakest April in terms of volumes sold since records began, with all major markets posting a negative performance: registrations declined in Italy by 33%, France 22.6%, Germany 21.5%, and Spain 12.1%.

New car registrations in the EU dropped 14.4% to 2,930,366 units over January-April. The decline in registrations during the first four months of the year was led by Italy at 26.5%, followed by France at 18.6%, Spain at 11.8% and Germany at 9%.

The automotive sector is a key industry for steel producers. On an average, 900 kg of steel is used per vehicle.

S&P Global Insight Commodity assessed hot-rolled coil in Northern Europe down Eur50 at Eur1,100/mt ex-works Ruhr on May 17. HRC prices reached a high Eur1,460 in March, rising from Eur922/mt at the start of 2022.

The automotive sector’s steel turnover represents over 8% of the EU’s gross domestic product, generating a trade surplus of Eur74 billion ($90 billion) for the region.

— Annalisa Villa