EUROPEAN STEEL DAY 2019: UK steel industry ‘likely to be obliterated’ by no-deal Brexit

European steelmakers voiced their concerns over the future viability of the UK steel industry, should the UK leave the European Union on October 31 without a deal, at the European Steel association’s (Eurofer) European Steel Day in Brussels on Wednesday June 26.

A “no deal” Brexit would mean the UK would leave the EU, and all related agreements and bodies, without a transition period. No preferential tariffs would be in place for UK exports to anywhere in the world.

“We operate in the UK, and the biggest concern is that as soon as the UK is out of the European Union, the [EU steel import] safeguards will not be in place and they would revert back to WTO rules,” Roeland Baan, chief executive officer of Finnish stainless steelmaker Outokumpu, said at a press conference during the event.

“This means, that for many [steel] products, there will be no protection whatsoever, and the chance that the UK steel industry will be obliterated is not small,” Baan said.

Outokumpu’s UK operations consist of a stainless steel meltshop with a 450,000-tonne-per-year capacity as well as a 25,000-tpy capacity rolling mill for stainless bar and wire rod in Sheffield, in northern England.

An “unfavorable no-deal or hard Brexit scenario may have a significant adverse impact on Outokumpu’s overall business and access to financial markets,” the steelmaker said in its 2018 annual report.

“It is important to say that the UK government supports our requests to improve the EU import safeguard measures. That stance in the short term will help the British steel industry,” Eurofer director general Axel Eggert said.

Concerns about the future of the UK steel industry have been amplified after UK long steelmaker British Steel was put into compulsory liquidation following an order from the UK High Court on May 22.

The company was buffeted by a number of issues, including uncertainty about the UK’s exit process from the EU (Brexit) and a slump in order volumes, as well as rising costs for raw materials.

UK and European steel market participants have repeatedly called for the European Union and the United Kingdom to reach an agreement and avoid continued market uncertainty after the UK was granted a six-month extension to delay Brexit until Thursday October 31.

What to read next
The outlook for North American steel scrap prices has headed further into bearish territory ahead of June’s trade, with prices for all grades expected to fall again after a round of across-the-board decreases in May
Fastmarkets is inviting feedback on a change of publishing time for our ferro-chrome price in the Chinese domestic market as well as ferro-chrome import prices in Japan and South Korea, to 5-6pm Shanghai time from 2-3pm London time.
Fastmarkets is inviting feedback on a proposal change the publishing time for our silico-manganese, ferro-manganese and manganese ore port prices in China, to 5-6pm Shanghai time from 2-3pm London time.
The publication of Fastmarkets copper concentrates TC index, cif Asia Pacific was delayed on Friday March 26, due to a reporter error.
After a month-long consultation period, Fastmarkets has refined the delivery terms for its international nickel sulfate price assessments, with Japan and Korea now the only accepted locations.
After an extended consultation period, Fastmarkets has amended the specified brands in its cobalt standard grade and cobalt alloy grade price assessments.
We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.