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EU's third country steel imports continued to rise in Jul-Aug - Eurofer

The latest EU customs statistics show that third country imports remained on a rising trend in July and August: Finished steel imports rose 32% YoY, compared with 6% rise in Q1 and 33% rise in Q2. This means that over the first eight months of this year total finished steel imports rose 21%. While flat product imports grew 15% YoY long product imports increased by a staggering 49%.

Eurofer, the European Steel Association, these growth rates of third country imports arriving in the EU contrast sharply with the only very moderate growth of apparent consumption.

Eurofer statistics showed that demand for finished steel products in the H1 of 2014 rising almost 5.5% compared with 2013. For the whole of this year around 3.5% growth in apparent steel consumption is foreseen, reflecting the usual seasonal destocking in the second half of the year. This underpins that the rebound in steel demand is only gradually gaining momentum.

Mr Axel Eggert, Interim General Director said that “That is exactly the reason why we are so concerned about the sharply rising trend in imports we are observing since the start of the year. Low-priced imports benefit more from the fragile recovery in the EU market than domestic producers. Moreover, the combination of volume and pricing effects exacerbates the already severe margin pressure in the EU steel sector.”