1. EU imports rose 3% in Q1 2014
2. April to May data signal imports remaining at a high level
3. Sharp rise quarto plate and rebar
4. Imports to remain on a rising trend in 2014 and 2015.
Following the 3% YoY rise in Q1 2014, steel imports into the EU continued to rise in May and April. Customs data for EU28 third country imports show a 20% YoY rise in total imports and even a 28% Yoy increase in finished products imports in April of this year. Surveillance 2 data for May indicate a rise of 27% YoY of finished product imports.
While the first quarter had seen flat product imports stabilising around the year earlier level and a marked increase in long product imports, data available for the Q2 of this year signal that not only the YoY rise in long products accelerated to 44% in April and even 69% YoY in May, but that also flat product imports rose 24% in April and 28% YoY in May.
Underlying data at the product level signal that while most flat product imports were on rising trend in April and May, particularly quarto plate imports continued to rise substantially. Meanwhile, imports of all long products were significantly higher than in the same period of last year, but the overall rise so far this year is dominated by rebar. This reflects sharply risen imports from Turkey as well as high tonnages from China arriving in the UK.
With regards to the main countries of origin, the situation is fairly similar as seen in recent past with Ukraine and the Russian Federation dominating semis imports, whereas China, Russia, Ukraine and India are the main flat product exporters and Turkey and China the most important long product exporters.
Total imports in 2014 are forecast to increase rather sharply, attracted by improving demand fundamentals in the EU and the relative strength of the Euro. This trend is expected to continue in 2015.
Source – Strategic research Institute