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Spanish 2014 steel sales up 2% to 14.2 million mt

Spanish steel sales increased 2% in 2014 to 14.2 million mt, reversing two years of declines, industry group Union de Empresas Siderurgicas, or UNESID, said Monday.

The 2014 total was similar to the figure registered in 2012, UNESID said, adding that domestic sales volumes increased 1% year in year and international sales 3%, which included a 4% gain in sales to EU countries.

Toward year-end, UNESID said it noted an increase in sales outside of the eurozone, aided by a weaker euro against other major currencies.

Overall, sales of both long steel and flat steel products increased 3% year on year the group added.

Spanish production during the year also totaled 14.2 million mt, according to UNESID.

The figure was unchanged from 2013, it added. The largest change was in the production of stainless steel, which increased 10% year on year while other product groups were largely unchanged, the group said, without giving details.

Spanish exports of steel products totaled 9.9 million mt in 2014, with a value of Eur7.5 billion ($8.2 billion), the group said.

While the volume was unchanged from 2013, the value was about 1% lower, UNESID said.

Import volume, meanwhile, increased 10% year on year to 8.3 million mt, driven by higher domestic demand and aggressive sales strategies, particularly by Chinese sellers. The value of imports, however, was down 5.5% year on year at Eur5.9 billion.

Spanish domestic demand for steel products increased 6% during the year to 10.5 million mt, UNESID said, aided by the rebuilding of inventories along the chain.

Recovery in the auto and construction sectors after a seven-year slump also aided the recovery in steel demand, the group said.

Looking ahead, the association, which represents 46 steel companies, said it sees the demand trend continuing due to the number of public works projects awarded in 2014 as well as new housing statistics, although the number of housing starts are still at around one-fifth of “normal” levels.
Source: Platts

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