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European steel market to show signs of growth in 2013

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European steel demand is expected to remain weak in 2012, before rebounding in 2013, according to a statement by industry body Eurofer on Monday May 7.

Recessionary pressures on the European steel market are expected to ease from the second quarter of 2012 onwards, the organisation said.

“The recent trend in the indicators is consistent with a stabilisation in economic fundamentals after months of weakening; this could pave the way for a cautious recovery later in the year. Owing to solid order backlogs and support from the weaker euro on export markets, activity across EU’s manufacturing sector has been holding up relatively well,” Eurofer director-general, Gordon Moffat, said in the statement.

The EU has seen some recovery in January to April 2012, compared with the final quarter of 2011, with orders strengthened and steel mills having adjusted their output to meet reduced demand.

Anticipated steel consumption in 2012 is predicted to fall by 2.7%, with activity in the steel-using sectors falling by less than 1%.

Eurofer is more optimistic on its expectations for 2013.

“We are confident that in 2013 a further improvement in the business cycle will result in a modest rebound in real consumption and trigger some restocking. Apparent steel consumption is forecast to rise by 2.5%,” Moffat added.

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