European steel industry calls on policymakers to end steel crisis and to save hundreds of thousands of jobs
Against the backdrop of the EU elections the European Steel Association calls for urgent action by EU policy makers to help the sector as it faces down the flood of steel exports deflected to the EU because of the US’ imposition of steel import tariffs in 2018.
EUROFER also calls on EU policy makers to meet with them urgently to discuss how to end the crisis. Mr Axel Eggert, Director General of EUROFER said that
“There has been a sudden and markedly negative shift in the prospects of the European steel industry in recent months – and the terrible consequences are plain to see. We have seen announcements of actual or potential plant closures in several EU member states over the past few weeks. The bill of direct jobs immediately at risk exceeds 10,000. Given the EU steel industry’s multiplier effect, the loss of indirect employment in the supply chain could top 100,000.”
Global overcapacity is the principle underlying factor of the present crisis but the direct cause is the vast flood of exports targeting the EU market. Imports rose 12% to nearly 30 million tonnes in 2018 in the wake of the imposition of the US’ section 232 steel tariffs. High and volatile raw material prices, slowing demand in downstream sectors, sharply higher carbon costs five times higher than at the beginning of 2018 and borne by EU steel producers but not by imports of steel into the EU and faltering EU economic performance have also increasingly squeezed the sector in recent months.