Eurofer forecasts that EU apparent steel demand will grow by 1.2% year-on-year in 2020, as a result of a modest re-stocking rather than a rebound in demand from steel-using sectors.
Apparent and real steel consumption was under pressure during most of 2019. In its latest economic report, Eurofer says it expects the downturn in 2019 will amount to -3.3% on-year for apparent steel demand and -1.1% for real demand. In the third quarter alone, apparent consumption fell -3.1% on-year, after a steep, -6.7% fall in Q2.
The outlook for 2020 is also slightly more negative than the one issued only three months ago by the association.
“2019 was another challenging year for the steel sector, with declines in steel consumption and import levels which – while down compared to 2018 – were still very high compared to historical levels,” Axel Eggert, Director General of Eurofer, says in a report seen by Kallanish. “While some growth is expected to return to steel markets in 2020, even these modest estimations could be upended if events take an unexpected turn.”
While the manufacturing downturn is not over yet, a number of uncertainties will continue to affect the European market. These include trade frictions as well as Brexit developments.
“Output in the EU’s steel-using sectors is forecast to remain unchanged in 2019 and to grow by 0.6% in 2020 and 1.4% in 2021,” Eurofer says.