EU service centres seek safeguard revision in 2022

European service centres and distributors of steel confirm their disappointment over the decision of the European Commission to extend safeguard measures for a further three years. They are now hoping for a favourable revision in 2022.

During a webinar organised by Siderweb on Tuesday, Andrea Gabrielli, chairman of the Gabrielli Group, a large network of Italian service centres, voiced his concern. “We are confident that a revision will be done during the next year, even more so as Europe negotiates further with the US towards the cancellation of Section 232,” he said at the event attended by Kallanish.

The official European Commission document confirming the extension of safeguard measures included the possibility of launching an annual review.

Gabrielli stressed that the demand recovery ongoing in Europe risks being put under pressure by the lack of volumes, particularly within the coil segment, exacerbated by safeguard limitations. “So far, we have calculated that we have recorded sales volumes in 2021 of 10% above the levels of 2019. We have had strong demand and have used up our stocks to meet the demand,” Gabrielli observed.

Gabrielli expects the market to normalise somewhat in the coming months and prices to stabilise. “For the future, much depends on how quickly the supply chain will be able to refill stocks after the destocking period, as well as the problems created by safeguard quotas, which are blocking some volumes at ports for long periods,” he explained.

European mills are likely to take advantage of the summer period to catch up on some still existing production backlogs, as demand in European markets cools down for the summer break, Gabrielli concluded.

Emanuele Norsa Italy