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Steel tube industry remained subdued - EUROFER

Steel News - Published on Fri, 02 Nov 2018

Image Source: SteelGuru
In the second quarter of 2018, production activity in the steel tube industry remained subdued as the temporary demand boost from large pipeline projects – which had supported the order book of EU manufacturers in 2017 – has been drying up. In the second quarter of 2018, output in the steel tube industry fell by 1.7% year-on-year. Revised figures for production in the first quarter of 2018 show a similar year-on-year contraction in output. In particular production activity in Germany registered a sharp drop, while output in Poland and France also fell compared with the same period of 2017.

Steel tube industry growth the second quarter of 2018
As expected, the EU steel tube sector registered a contraction in production activity in the first half of 2018, as order books for large welded tubes have been steadily shrinking. Due to the absence of a significant new demand boost for EU producers from the international pipeline markets, the performance of the EU steel tube sector now depends more strongly on demand for small and medium-sized welded tubes and seamless tubes. Due to its focus on the manufacture of large welded tubes for pipeline purposes, production activity in Germany registered a significant decline in the first half of 2018. The situation in the other EU countries was more favourable owing to the relatively strong performance of the main downstream client sectors of smaller diameter welded and seamless steel tubes, such as automotive, metal goods, mechanical engineering and construction. Improving global drilling activity was supportive to demand for Oil Country Tubular Goods.

Total EU steel tube output is estimated to have risen by 1% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2018.

Steel tube industry forecast 2018-2019
In 2018, steel tube production activity in the EU is forecast to stagnate around the level seen in the previous and register only very moderate growth in 2019. While the outlook for smaller sized welded and seamless tubes from the main downstream user segments is rather favourable, prospects for large welded tubes are uncertain.

Apart from some smaller pipeline projects such as the Poland-Slovakia gas pipeline, demand from other major projects is expected to remain subdued.

In the EU, the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline with Russia is leading to political tensions as the European Commission argues that the project undermines its push for greater energy independence. Moreover, the US is demanding the EU end the project and is threatening to impose sanctions to reach that goal. This reduces the likelihood of EU companies benefitting from new future project activity.

Meanwhile, import pressure on steel tube markets in the EU remains high with clear evidence of unfair competition practices by several third country suppliers. This is reflected by the recent decision of the European Commission to impose anti-dumping duties on imports of seamless pipes and tubes from Russia and Ukraine.

The European Commission also initiated an anti-dumping proceeding concerning imports of welded tubes, pipes and hollow sections from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Russia and Turkey.

Source :

Posted By : Ratan Singh on Fri, 02 Nov 2018
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