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EU steel-using sectors grew robustly

Production activity in the EU steel-using sectors grew robustly in the second quarter of 2018 and outpaced first quarter growth by 0.7 percentage points. For the second half of 2018 and the year 2019 a more moderate growth rate is forecast. Total production activity in EU steel-using sectors grew by 4.2% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2018. Business conditions in the second quarter of 2018 were somewhat similar to those in the first quarter of the year. All steel using sectors in the EU except steel tube industry registered an increase in production activity. All reporting countries registered year-on- year growth in total production activity. In Germany and Belgium, the rise in output of the steel using sectors was quite modest, in contrast with countries such as Austria, Poland and Hungary where double-digit growth in total production activity was recorded. Total output is estimated to have grown by 3.7% in the third quarter of 2018.

Total steel-using sector forecast 2018-2019
Prospects for the EU steel-using sectors in 2018 and 2019 are rather favourable. Despite a mild moderation in economic momentum, framework conditions for steel using sectors are expected to remain supportive to continued, though somewhat slower, growth in production activity. Domestic demand, rather than exports, will be the main engine of growth over this period. However, the global economic context has become more uncertain due to rising protectionism and the risk of escalating trade tensions. This might have a negative impact on business confidence and investment. Output in the EU’s steel-using sectors is forecast to grow by 3.5% in 2018 and by 1.8% in 2019.

Year-on-year %-change 
EU Steel Weighted Industrial Production (SWIP) index

Heading % share in total Consumption Year 2017 Q118 Q218 Q318 Q418 Year 2018 Q119 Q219 Q319 Q419
Construction 35 47 5-2 4-4 4-9 3.6 4-5 3 3-2 2 2.4
Mechanical engineering 14 6.4 5.6 6.7 4-9 2.9 5 2-5 2.1 1.8 2-4
Automotive 18 4.1 1-9 3-9 4-5 -0.5 2-4 0.1 O.5 -0.7 2.7
Domestic appliances 3 3-9 1-9 2-4 1.1 -0.6 1.2 0.9 2 2.1 2.8
Other Transport 2 37 2-4 9-1 7-7 5-2 6 2.8 -1 1.7 2.2
Tubes 13 8.2 -1.6 -1.7 1 1-9 -0.2 1 1-5 0.2 0.2
Metal goods 14 5-5 5-3 5 2.7 2 3.8 1-5 1-9 1.7 1-5
Miscellaneous 2 3-4 2-5 3-2 2.2 2.1 2-5 2.2 1.8 2-4 1-4
TOTAL 100 5-2 3-5 4-2 3-7 2-5 3-5 1.8 2.1 1.6 1-9
 

Source : STRATEGIC RESEARCH INSTITUTE, STEELGURU

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