FOCUS: Pandemic, protectionism limit long steel imports to EU; CIS remains key supplier

Imports of long products to the European Union dropped during the first four months of 2020 year on year due to the toxic combination of the effect of Covid-19 on consumption and rising protectionism.

According to European steel association Eurofer, imports of rebar from outside of EU in January-April 2020 totaled 370,514 tonnes, down by 37% from 589,428 during the corresponding period of 2019.
At the same time, imports of wire rod in January-April 2020 amounted to 659,106 tonnes, down 7% from 711,585 tonnes during the first four months of 2019.
Buying activity in the EU rebar and wire rod markets was severely limited in March-April by Covid-19 related lockdowns across different countries in the bloc.
Demand started to recover slowly in May, but only back to pre-pandemic levels in most countries.
The construction sector - the main consumer of long steel – proved more resilient to the dramatic effects of the pandemic than the automotive industry, but sources believe it could take until the fourth quarter of this year for demand to return to pre-pandemic rates.

In addition to the effects...

Published

Vlada Novokreshchenova

Julia Bolotova

July 17, 2020

16:09 GMT

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