The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) does not expect the European Union’s (EU) stainless steel industry to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic until 2023, at the earliest.
Overall demand for stainless steel is still not expected to rise beyond the pre-pandemic levels of 70pc despite March and April 2020 being the lowest months from a demand standpoint, BIR said in a statement. The association does not expect any increase in production rates since the supply and demand of the material in the EU currently seems balanced.
Adding to this, there is a high volume of stainless steel products being imported into the EU, creating challenges for local producers. BIR expressed concern that the market situation could evolve to mimic that in Taiwan, wherein local steelmakers shut their furnaces and began importing from Indonesia, instead.
In order to save the EU market from such an incident, BIR has urged market members to continue using steel scrap as a raw material for production, in order to reduce costs and therefore, operate with better efficiency.