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Intellinews Romania Iron and Steel Report -January 2013

  • January 2013
  • -
  • Emerging Markets Direct Media Holdings
  • -
  • 27 pages

The market conditions will remain challenging for the European steel market in 2013 with the Eurozone crisis still the key driver. Neighbouring MENA region*, where steel consumption soared over the past decade to per-capita values similar to those in EU27, faces political turmoil risks. Finally, the domestic Romanian market will be seriously hurt by the government’s decision to cut investments under 2013 budget planning; the expected surge in EU-funded projects and certain improvement in the external demand [for automobiles, other steel-intensive products] might however prop up the domestic steel demand. By better capturing the momentum in the renewable energy investments, local steel makers might also boost their revenues and improve their financials. ArcelorMittal already mentioned such plans and Sinovel’s plans to set up local wind turbines production facilities would help steelmakers sell their infrastructure elements also. Nonetheless, these are rather projects while recent detailed steel data reveals a rather dramatic [for current macroeconomic stabilisation] 16% y/y drop in Romania’s H1 domestic consumption of both raw steel and finished steel goods. Part of the decline is an effect of the rising volatility experienced by the steel industry globally; the intake of raw and finished goods had increased by some 60% y/y in H1 of 2011, which makes the 16% y/y decline in H1 of 2012 look rather as a correction.

External demand also weakened in H1 of 2012, with the aggregated steel exports down 8% [volume terms] after 4.2% y/y increase in H1 of 2011. In euros, exports were 9% down y/y in H1 and they remained in the negative area with a 10% y/y decline in Q3. Notably the exports of processed goods [more value added] decreased by only 4.8% in H1 of 2012. Exports of processed goods were 0.78mn tonnes in the 12 months ending June 2012 – indeed slightly down from 0.8mn at the end of previous two quarters, but still above the pre-crisis peak level of 0.75mn tonnes at end-Sep 2008. Annual exports of raw goods have stabilised slightly above 2.3mn tonnes since the end of 2010 – yet significantly below the 3.2mn tonnes calculated at mid-2008. Resilience of high value added exports [encouraging for the local companies’ profitability] is in line with the broad theory of excess production capacity in the upstream raw metal producing segment [as opposed to metal processing segment]

* Romania exports half of the raw steel to Turkey, with large part of the processed goods being re-exported in the region.

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Intellinews Romania Iron and Steel Report -January 2013

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