Steel demand in the region started on a negative trend in late 2019 this has continued into the first quarter of 2020, exacerbated by pandemic-related restrictions, the association said.
Apparent steel consumption in the EU fell to around 37.6 million tonnes in the first quarter. This followed a drop of 10.8% in the fourth quarter of 2019 as well as a 5.3% reduction for the whole of 2019 to 154 million tonnes, which was the worst slump since 2012.
The Covid-19 outbreak started to hit European steel demand in the second half of March 2020, adding to the continued slump in the EU's manufacturing sector.
Steel imports in the first quarter...