| LONDON, April 25
LONDON, April 25 European steel demand will rise
more than 1 percent this year and next, extending last year's
strong gains and with local steelmakers set to benefit from the
growth thanks to anti-dumping measures, an industry group said
Apparent EU steel demand, which includes inventory changes,
will rise 1.3 percent this year and 1.2 percent next, Eurofer
said in a statement. The European steel industry, with sales of
about 170 billion euros a year, is seen as a gauge of regional
Demand grew 3.2 percent last year, Eurofer said, but
steelmakers were largely unable to capitalise on this as
importers gained market share at their expense. Eurofer does not
expect this to be repeated this year.
"Finally we are seeing evidence of EU steel companies also
gaining from improving domestic steel demand. However, we must
not get ahead of ourselves," said Eurofer's director General
"Anti-dumping duties may temporarily provide solace, but the
risk of circumvention and other suppliers stepping up deliveries
looms large, particularly as protectionism spreads in response
to global oversupply pressures."
The United States last week launched an investigation into
whether imports of foreign made steel from China and elsewhere
posed a national security risk. The move increases
the risk that surplus steel will be diverted from the United
States to Europe.
Still, shares of EU steelmakers
have risen strongly this year as the EU has
its own anti-dumping measures in place and as China, source of
much of the world's surplus supply, is making good on its pledge
to cut 100-150 million tonnes of excess steel capacity by 2020.
Eurofer also expects a weaker euro will for the time being
support European steel exports, which are also set to benefit
from improving international trade conditions that suggest an
upswing in the global economy could be underway.
(Reporting by Maytaal Angel, editing by David Evans)