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EUROFER Update on steel trade balance in EU in Q1 of 2019

Steel News - Published on Fri, 17 May 2019

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The trade deficit in semis amounted to 0.84 million tonnes per month over the first two months of 2019. The net trade deficit in finished products amounted to 0.88 million tonnes per month over this period. The deficit in flat products was 0.97 million tonnes per month. The trade deficit in both semis and flat products deepened in the first two months of 2019 compared with the average monthly deficits registered over 2018.

Trade in long products bounced back to a marginal surplus of 0.09 million tonnes per month, compared with the equilibrium between imports and exports registered over 2018.

At the individual country level, by far the largest trade deficit exists with Turkey; over the first two months of 2019 the deficit rose to 0.54 million tonnes per month compared with on average 0.25 million tonnes per month over the whole year 2018. Significant deficits were also recorded for trade with Russia, Ukraine, South Korea and India. The major markets of destination for EU finished steel exports that registered a surplus over the first two months of 2019 were the US, Switzerland and Algeria.

With only two months of data available for the current trend in steel exports to third countries it is impossible to see a clear pattern in trade flows at this stage. Nevertheless, with imports remaining at elevated levels and exports on a downward trend in early 2019, a preliminary conclusion seems to be justified be that there is no evidence of an easing in competitive pressures in the international steel market. With global steel overcapacity still estimated at 550 million tonnes by the OECD, it is of the utmost importance that individual countries and regions dismantle market-distorting subsidies and other government support measures and share data and information on the process of capacity reduction in order to facilitate the process of cutting excess capacity where it is needed most and to avoid a further proliferating in trade distortions.

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Posted By : Sanju Moirangthem on Fri, 17 May 2019
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