An ongoing supply gap may extend the shortage of steel products in Europe until the end of 2021, according to Eurometal estimates.
The demand for rolled steel products from European buyers stood at 141mn mt in 2020, which was nearly 10mn mt more than supply. The association has forecasted consumption levels to be 3mn mt more in 2021.
Low inventories and extended mill lead times triggered soaring steel prices by 125pc since mid-July last year. Eurometal noted that margins for hot-rolled coil in Q1 2021 are pegged at over €360/mt, nearly 50pc more than the 10-year median. The association has forecasted that these high margins will also continue until the end of this year.
Steel product imports are estimated to fall by 20pc in the EU this year, about 2.5 pc lower than the 2018 forecast of 22.5pc before the quotas were in place.