UK steel trade with EU plummets in January

United Kingdom steel exports under HS code heading 72 to the EU plummeted to 93,329 tonnes in January, the first month of the UK being outside the EU single market and customs union.

This compared to 195,257t in January 2020 and 266,056t in January 2019, according to HM Revenue & Customs data monitored by Kallanish.

Scrap exports to the EU fell 33% on-year in January to 20,250t, coated sheet exports dropped 64% to 6,246t, hot rolled flat products shipments by 59% to 6,173t and semi-finished product exports by 64% to 5,969t.

UK steel imports from the EU meanwhile fell 15% on-year in January to 212,082t. They were also down 34% from January 2019. The most-imported product category – coated sheet – saw intake fall 34% on-year in January to 25,031t, while HR flats intake fell 16% to 17,564t.

Stainless wide strip above 10mm thick and other alloy wide strip intake totalled 19,290t and 15,865t respectively, down 24% and 42%.

UK steel exports to non-EU countries, meanwhile, rose 16% on-year in January to 198,792t, and were also up 9% on January 2019. Scrap was by far the most-exported product.

Non-EU-origin imports rose 11% on-year in January to 108,473t, but this was down 23% on January 2019.

UK HS code 72 exports to the EU fell 18% on-year in full-year 2020 to 2.26 million tonnes, meaning a monthly average of 188,749t. Imports were down 32% to 2.5mt, meaning a monthly average of 208,520t. These figures were however heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic for much of the year.

Adam Smith Germany