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German Federation Disagrees with World Steel Association Outlook

Germany’s steel demand will not gain noteworthy momentum before 2025 and will lag the economic recovery of other regions, says national steel federation WV Stahl in a statement seen by Kallanish.

The statement arrives in reaction to the latest short range outlook by the World Steel Association (worldsteel) that was published earlier this week. It forecast a minor recovery this year, mainly owed to the restocking cycle. But even the stronger rebound of demand seen for 2025 will still not surpass the low level in the first year of the Covid pandemic, WV Stahl fears.

“The weak recovery of the EU and especially Germany is in opposition to the USA, where steel consumption is expected to rise by 20% between 2020 and 2025,” says Martin Theuringer of WV Stahl.

The association’s managing director, Kerstin Maria Rippel, concurs that “Germany is not following the global rebound. This is bad news that reaches out beyond the steel sector, given that steel demand is an indicator for the overall manufacturing industry.” She suggests that this could be a political problem. “In Germany as well as in the larger EU we need to respond to the strategies that make other regions strong.”

Some facets of the problem were voiced this week at “The Future of the EU Industry” meeting set up by Eurofer in Brussels. Kurt Vandenberghe of the European Commission’s DG Clima pointed out that Europe needs a “level playing field” that balances the regional ambitions for cleaner industries with the laws of international trade flows. Vandenberghe concedes that in producing steel more sustainably, China and the US have caught up.

“Five years ago, we (Europe) were the first; now, China and the USA are about to overtake us,” he observes.

By Christian Koehl

Source: Kallanish