European executives expect better second half in 2019

EUROMETAL president Fernando Espada

European steel executives speaking at Made in Steel in Milan this week suggest that the second part of 2019 should be more positive for the European market.

Antonio Gozzi, ceo of the Duferco Group, said that a global recession is not underway. Europe is slowing down however due to a number of challenges and a lot of uncertainties which the continent has largely created autonomously.

“The problems of the automotive sector, for example, have been created by a lot of mixed signals that the European authorities and the local government have sent out, impacting consumption,” Gozzi noted.

A similar view was shared by EUROMETAL president Fernando Espada. He stressed that China and the US are showing that a global crisis is not taking place.

“Things will not get worse in the second part of 2019. Demand is stable at the moment and in some markets, as in Spain, we have seen things getting better during recent months compared with the beginning of the year,” Espada said.

He added that Europe is a specialist in creating uncertainties for the market, be it with political decisions such as Brexit or with the carmaking industry.

A further element of uncertainty has been created in the market by the announcement of the cancellation of the thyssenkrupp-Tata Steel Europe merger last week, Kallanish notes. Speakers at Made in Steel said the news came as a surprise to most and stressed that there is a need for further room for consolidation in the flats sector going forward.

European steelmakers association, Eurofer, confirmed last week that apparent steel consumption in Europe should fall by -0.4% y-o-y in 2019.