EUROFER's October report on the Economic and Steel Market Outlook 2009-11 shows that in the second quarter of 2009, export deliveries by EU 27 mills to third countries fell by almost 14% YoY and by 18% in H1 of 2009.
Since imports fell more sharply than exports, resulting in overall lower imports than exports, this implies that the EU became a net exporter of steel products in this period. Especially long product producers have been able to find some compensation for the sharp decline in demand from the domestic EU market in other regions such as North Africa and the Middle East.
While this situation probably continued in the third quarter of this year, the trend is expected to reverse in the final quarter of this year. The main reason for the EU becoming a net importer again is the anticipated rise in third country imports.
Meanwhile, actual export volumes are not seen increasing significantly in the 2010-11 period. The latest forecasts from EUROFER’s Economic Committee show exports rising by only 1% in 2010 and just below 7% in 2011 in tandem with improving demand fundamentals in international export markets.