FOCUS: European construction slowdown to weigh on long steel demand but downturn could be brief

The dramatic consequences of the Covid-19-related lockdowns across Europe, and the corresponding shutdowns of industrial activities, have resulted in an enormous disruption to the supply chains across all sectors of the steel industry.

While the largest of these sectors, the construction industry, has by no means escaped the effects of the pandemic, sources believed that it could see a return of demand as early as the fourth quarter of this year.
The pandemic led to an almost complete stop in production in the automotive sector, the second-largest steel user. And even though some original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have started to resume operations in recent weeks, output rates in the industry remain reduced.
All the major economies started gradually to loosen their pandemic-related restrictions in the second quarter of 2020, but a substantial rebound in industrial activity is unlikely before the first quarter of 2021, European steelmakers’ association Eurofer said in its outlook report for April-June 2020.

“Even after the end of the pandemic, external risks will continue to cast a shadow over steel-using industrial sectors, even in 2021,” Eurofer’s report said. “This will...


Julia Bolotova

June 22, 2020

19:45 GMT