European steel demand seen rising next year: trade


May 28, 2010 Updated May 28, 2010 at 6:40 PM EDT

European demand for steel, after shrinking by a third this year, should rise about 14 percent in 2010 as an inventory draw-down by steel users comes to an end, the European Confederation of Iron and Steel Industries (Eurofer) said on Thursday.

"In 2010 the stock cycle reversing to slightly positive will result in apparent steel consumption growing by almost 14 percent," the agency said in a statement.

Apparent steel consumption is determined by subtracting steel exports from domestic production and imports.

The current economic downturn and de-stocking by such steel-using sectors as construction and auto manufacturing has eroded steel consumption and will continue to do so in the third quarter, according to Eurofer.

The confederation for this year is forecasting a drop in apparent steel consumption of nearly 33 percent compared with 2008. Consumption was down 43 percent in the first six months.

But the federation said that beginning in the fourth quarter, the market should begin to show a slight rebound "as the negative effect of the stock cycle begins to ease."

"We finally see a little light at the end of the tunnel," said Eurofer director general Gordon Moffat.

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