Weak demand strongly impacted domestic deliveries. They recorded a sharp decrease in the second quarter (-7.1%), confirming the negative trend started at the beginning of 2022 (-0.1%) and reversing 2021’s direction (+11.9%).
By contrast, imports into the EU continued to grow, although at a slower pace (+1.6%, after +28.5% in the first quarter), with import penetration persisting at historically high levels.
EU steel-using sectors
Steel-using sectors’ output proved to be more resilient than initially foreseen in the second quarter of 2022 (+5.7%), owing to the carry-over effect of the post-COVID rebound of 2021 (+8.4%). Favourable developments were observed in the construction, mechanical engineering and transport sectors, in particular automotive. This should secure growth for 2022 (+1.9%).
However, the increasing impact of the Russian aggression against Ukraine and the hike in energy prices are expected to weigh heavily during the end of 2022 up to the first quarter of 2023 at least. This has contributed to a downward revision of steel-using sectors’ output in 2023 (-0.9% compared to the previous +2.2%). This could be the second recession in Steel Weighted Industrial Production (SWIP) in ten years, after the one experienced in 2020 due to the pandemic.
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