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...