The European Steel Association (EUROFER) has announced the publication of ‘European Steel In Figures 2017’ report which provides detailed analysis of European steel trade data for the five year period from 2012 to 2016. The total steel imports by the region increased sharply, whereas the exports dropped during the year. As a result, overall steel trade recorded trade deficit in 2016.
According to EUROFER, the steel sector direct employment continued to decline in 2016. Data suggests that employment levels declined steadily over the past five years from 349,721 in 2012 to as low as 318,727 in 2016. Out of this Germany accounted for 84,391 direct jobs (26% share), followed by Italy (34,226 nos), Romania (21,920 nos), Poland (21,700 nos) and France (20,900 nos).
The EU region’s crude steel production totaled 161.979 million metric tonnes (Mt) in 2016, significantly lower when compared with the production of 166.042 Mt tonnes recorded during the prior year. Germany accounted for 26% of crude steel production by the region, with total production of 42.080 Mt. The German output declined marginally over the previous year from 42.676 Mt. The other key crude steel producers in 2016 were Italy (23.370 Mt, 14.5% share), France (14.413 Mt, 8.9% share), Spain (13.631 Mt, 8.4% share) and Poland (8.940 Mt, 5.5% share).
The crude steel production by electric furnaces declined marginally from 65.418 Mt in 2015 to 64.395 Mt in 2016. The steel production by others too declined from 100.624 Mt in 2015 to 97.584 Mt in 2016. Also, non-alloy steel output totaled 128.923 Mt. Other Alloy and Stainless Steel production totaled 26.404 Mt and 7.282 Mt respectively.
Hot-rolled steel production totaled 150.533 Mt during the year. Out of this, flat products accounted for 92.177 Mt (61.2% share). The major flat products included Hot Rolled Wide Strip (79.941 Mt) and Quarto Plate (10.567 Mt). Long products output totaled 58.357 Mt, representing 38.8% share of total hot-rolled production by the region. The major products in this category were Wire Rods (20.400 Mt), Rebars (13.413 Mt), Merchant Bars (12.304 Mt) and Heavy Sections (9.398 Mt). The share of flat and long products remained unchanged from the year before.
The apparent steel consumption grew by 3.2%. On an average, construction sector accounted for 35% of total steel consumption. The other major steel consumers were: automotive (19%), mechanical engineering (15%) and metalware (14%).
The steel scrap imports by the EU region extended its decline in 2016. The regional scrap imports totaled 2.740 Mt, down significantly from 2.850 Mt in 2015. Meantime, exports rose sharply from 13.763 Mt in 2015 to 17.771 Mt during last year. Scrap consumption by the region remained almost flat, while net exports rose sharply in 2016.
Imports accounted for almost one-fourth of EU steel market, surging higher by 9%. The EU steel exports to third countries witnessed decline of 11% in 2016. The region remained a net importer of steel during the year. The total trade deficit in 2016 amounted to 10.8 million tonnes.
Founded in 1976, EUROFER represents 100 per cent of steel production in the European Union and comprises of steel companies and national steel federations throughout the EU. Also, major steel companies and national steel federations in Switzerland and Turkey are associate members of the association.