According to a report released by Deutsche Bank, production in the European Union's all important steel industry will remain sluggish in the coming years. DB also stressed the need for innovation in the steel making industry, in order for Europe to remain competitive against the booming rise of the Asia as a steel producer.
It may be noted that steel production is one of the key industrial sectors in the European Union. Across the EU 27, the steel industry currently accounts for around 6% of total industry turnover. Each year, the sector produces around 200 million tonnes of crude steel and currently employs roughly 400,000 people in the EU 27. From 1998 to 2007, the annual crude steel output in the EU 27 inched up by a mere 1% per annum to about 199 million tonnes, a rate of increase well below the world steel market average of 6% per annum.
This nominal growth is because of the already high level of production in Europe and the declining importance of steel intensive sectors. Per capita consumption in the EU-27 of around 370 kilogram is the highest in the world, as against a global average of 190 kilogram. The current situation in the steel industry makes for a grim reading. As the international financial crisis deepened in September 2008, the international steel industry spiraled into an abrupt decline. In the first-half of 2009 crude steel output in the EU 27 was down 43% on the previous year as demand plunged.