Following the unprecedented drop in activity in EU’s steel using sectors in the 1st half of 2009, the downturn in orders and production gradually eased in the remainder of the year.
Nevertheless, total output was still 19% y-o-y down in the 3rd quarter and is estimated to have fallen almost 13% in the final quarter of 2009 compared with an already depressed activity level in the same period of 2008.
International trade picking up from a low level after the summer period and the severe destocking in the downstream processing chain coming to an end, resulted in the extreme pessimism seen in early 2009 steadily ebbing away in most sectors. Industrial confidence and other forward looking indicators such as the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) signal a markedly better starting point for the business climate at the beginning of 2010.
The current forecasts for 2010 indicate that on average activity in the steel-using industries will register a slight positive growth (+0.6%) this year. This hides continued weakness in the construction-related sectors and a mild rebound in most other industries. The following pages [see attched] provide more detail on a sectoral level.
Source: EUROFER - European Confederation of Iron and Steel Industries
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