WV Stahl lowers German rolled steel production forecast for 2013

The German steel association has lowered its forecast for the country’s rolled steel production in response to the current general economic situation, WV Stahl said on Tuesday December 18.

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Rolled steel production in Germany is now expected to grow by 1-2% year-on-year, compared with previous forecast of 2-3% year-on-year growth made by the association in November. 

However, WV Stahl remains cautiously optimistic about the growth of the local steel market in the second half of 2013 and forecasts an increase of 1% year-on-year in crude steel production to 43 million tonnes next year.

The association is hopeful of growth coming from important consumer markets such as the German automotive industry, mechanical engineering and the local construction sector.

“In light of the current general economic situation, next year is not expected to show a sweeping recovery,” Hans Jürgen Kerkhoff, president of WV Stahl said.

He also believes the first quarter of 2013 will see a revival in steel demand on the back of restocking, despite the general economic market conditions remaining difficult throughout 2013, and especially in Europe.

“In the southern countries of the EU, the market will shrink in the coming year, although slightly less than [in 2012],” he said.

On the international market, WV Stahl expects crude steel production to rise by 4% year-on-year to 1.6 billion tonnes, owing to growth in emerging markets and China.

The global growth in capacity is worrying against the background of imbalanced supply and demand in Europe.

The association welcomes the recent move by the German government to compensate for higher energy prices and again condemns the European Commission’s plan to limit the number of CO2 certificates available through its trading system.

“Unfortunately, the European Commission fails to understand the consequences of its policy on the competitiveness of the industry,” Kerkhoff added.