Wednesday, 04 April 2018 17:02:27 (GMT+3) | Istanbul
At the 6th YISAD Flat Steel Conference & SteelOrbis Market Talks held in Istanbul on April 4, Alexander Julius, presidency member of the European association of metals distributors and service centers EUROMETAL, stated that the key players in the EU steel supply chains comprise of 250 steel and tubes producers, 5,000 steel distributors and steel service centers (SSC) and about one million steel and tubes end-users, adding that the distribution business provides direct jobs to 100,000 people.
According to Mr. Julius, steel distribution and SSC businesses are essential parts of the European steel value chain since they provide service differentiation and they help to meet future customer requirements and to develop new service offers. He added that steel distribution and SSC business models build the bridge between steel mills and end-users, therefore adding high contributions to the value chain of the steel industry in terms of product availability, low delivery times, small volume orders, logistics and product know-how.
Regarding the outlook for the EU steel market in the current year, Mr. Julius stated that in 2018 EU steel-using sectors are estimated to reach a growth rate of 2.2 percent, compared to 4.7 percent recorded in 2017. EU steel demand in 2018 will be mainly supported by the construction sector, mechanical engineering, white goods and the metal ware sector; however, estimates for 2018 indicate lower perspectives for these steel-using sectors, especially for the automotive sector. EU construction sector growth is expected to be 2.6 percent in 2018, compared to 4.3 percent in 2017, while the growth rate for the mechanical engineering sector is expected to be 3.1 percent, compared to 4.9 percent in the previous year, while the EU automotive sector growth is expected to be 1.7 percent, compared to 3.7 percent in 2017. Meanwhile, in 2018, EU market supply in finished steel products is forecast to grow by two percent year on year and reach 153 million mt.
Commenting on the possibility of safeguard measures by the EU, Mr. Julius stated that EUROMETAL is in favor of the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and they are committing themselves to these rules.