EU’s real steel consumption is forecast to recover by 7.9pc in 2021 against the previous year and grow by 4.5pc in 2022, according to Eurofer.
The region’s steel consumption is anticipated to grow by 7.9pc in Q3 2021 and 2.5pc in Q4 2021 compared to the same quarters last year after a gain of 23.9pc in Q2 2021. In 2022, consumption is expected to climb by 5.4pc in Q1, 5.1pc in Q2, 3.8pc in Q3, and 3.6pc in Q4 against the same timeframes this year.
Europe’s steel consumption fell by 0.6pc in Q1 2021 after a 2.2pc erosion in Q4 2020 and a fall of 10pc for the full year 2020. The quarterly loss was the eighth consecutive decline in the past two years. Prior to COVID-19, the had EU encountered a recession in 2019 due to manufacturing and trade downturns.
Apparent steel consumption is anticipated to rise by 3.7pc in 2022 to 149mn mt after growing by 11.2pc in 2021 and dropping by 10.6pc in 2020 and by 5.3pc in 2019. Apparent steel consumption differs from real steel consumption in that the former includes total deliveries and imports but excludes exports.
The EU’s apparent steel consumption rose by 0.9pc in Q1 2021 to 36.3mn mt. Domestic deliveries in Q1 2021 climbed by 1pc against the previous quarter after a stronger growth of 4.6pc in Q4 2020.
Steel imports to the EU declined by 2.5pc in Q1 2021, by 5.4pc in Q4 2020, and 25.4pc in Q3 2020, all against the same year-ago quarter. The decline in total steel imports during Q1 2021 was the ninth consecutive one in the region driven by safeguards to limit unfair trading. Imports fell by 17.2pc in 2020 and 10.9pc in 2019 due to deterioration in steel demand.
Longs and flats steel imports rose by 34pc and 46pc, respectively, in Q2 2021, compared to the previous year’s quarter. With added steel demand in the region, imports are anticipated to grow in 2021. Flats imports fell by 15pc in 2020 against 2019 and long products declined by 16pc in the same timeframe.
Both flat and longs product exports from the EU fell in Q1 and Q2 2021 compared to the previous year. Steel exports are anticipated to be limited in 2021 due to strong domestic demand for the remainder of the year.
Steel using sectors
The 2021 EU steel production index is forecast to grow by 9.3pc in 2021 and by 4.6pc in 2022. Steel using sectors’ production index climbed by 2.6pc in Q1 2021 and 27.9pc in Q2 2021 against the year-ago quarter with rises anticipated for the remainder of the year to 6.8pc in Q3 2021 and 3.5pic in Q4 2021.
Steel production outlook in 2021 is supported by a 5.5pc growth in construction, which constitutes 35pc of total consumption, followed by automotive at 15.3pc growth and an 18pc share of total consumption, mechanical engineering at 10.6pc with a 14pc share, metal goods at 11.3pc with a 14pc share, and tubes with a growth of 9.8pc and a 13pc share.
Construction, automotive, mechanical engineering, and metal goods are forecast to grow by 4.5pc, 7.9pc, 3.6pc, and 3.5pc, respectively, in 2022 against the prior year.