The steel market in the European Union has become subject to massive distortion as unprecedented volumes of steel from China enter the market, and they just keep coming. Amongst the ever-growing calls for enforcement of trade measures, it is not enough simply to talk about volumes, but the shift in market share also matters, distributors’ organisation EUROMETAL says.
The trade association held a conference this week in Düsseldorf on the subject of imports, and attended by Kallanish. Director general Georges Kirps described different aspects of the imports problem, such as the diverse degrees of impact on different EU regions.
Imports of strip products in Italy, for example, now account for 16% of the country’s market supply, “… and have basically taken the place of Ilva’s production.” In South East Europe, the share is a massive 45%, and in the Benelux countries as much as 31%. By comparison, in Germany with only 1% market penetration by imports, the problem “… is totally marginal,” Kirps notes.
Strip products and plate have seen at “… spectacular” rise in imports in the first half of 2015. Hot-rolled coil landings have risen by 32% y-on-y to 3.9m tonnes, as China increased its deliveries by 205% to more than 660,000t. But although the main import thrust has come from China, some other countries made noteworthy advances, if on a lower level.
South Korea’s volumes grew by 118% to 133,000t. Brazil “… sees a comeback” with more than 200,000t delivered, after zero landings last year. Iran has become an important supplier and has grown its exports to the EU by 66% to reach 444,000t. The largest HRC exporter to the EU remains Russia with 1.1m tonnes in the reporting period, up 22% year-on-year.
Source: Kallanish Steel