Eurofer promotes further safeguard review to reduce quotas

The association for European steelmakers, Eurofer, has called for a further review of the EU steel safeguards system in an open statement this week. This comes less than two months after the changes applied by the review of the system came into force, Kallanish notes.

The association believes the quota volumes were set far above traditional EU levels originally when the safeguard system was launched in early 2019. “Since then market conditions have considerably deteriorated,” Eurofer adds.

During the latest review of the safeguard system the original 5% increase of quotas planned was reduced to 3%. Eurofer still considers however that the level of the quotas approved in the first place was too high.

The statement by Eurofer comes ahead of the foreign affairs council trade configuration this week. Eurofer is asking the Commission to rediscuss safeguard measures during the meeting and also consider the fact China has officially opposed the continuation of the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity.

“Europe is still flooded by steel imports, even as domestic demand stalls. We have seen a contraction of at least -3% this year, even as raw material prices and CO₂ costs have boomed. In particular, these CO₂ costs are not borne by any other producers around the world,” says director general of Eurofer, Axel Eggert. “This year, European steel companies have had to announce production cuts of at least 15 million tonnes; 15,000 jobs have been lost or put at risk. This is in addition to the- 20% decline in the steel workforce since 2008.”