2014-03-24 12:10:12 - Recently published research from Business Monitor International, "Netherlands Metals Report Q2 2014", is now available at Fast Market Research
Long-Term Growth In Output
The Netherlands' metals sector is set for sound growth over the coming years as prices for high quality steel remain elevated and encourage production. Steel will continue to dominate the country's metals industry; however, we do not expect any significant new investment over the coming years. Tata Steel, the largest producer in the country is facing up to an increasingly hostile and competitive operating environment with cheap steel and aluminium being exported from China. However, opportunities remain in high-quality steel, which the Netherlands is a key producer.
In 2012, Dutch steel output experienced a strong decline as the year began with much uncertainty still surrounding the eurozone and the sluggish US economic recovery; however, efforts by eurozone leaders
to rectify the European debt crisis as the year progressed were taken as reassurance by businesses and investors in 2012, and so steel production in the Netherlands picked up to close the year with a growth rate of -1.0% year-on-year (y-o-y), reaching 6.87mn tonnes (mnt). This follows two years of growth that saw output up 4.0% and 28.5% in 2011 and 2010 respectively. While this figure will have been disappointing after two consecutive years of positive growth, it could have been a lot worse had it not been for the rally in output in the second half of the year. Carrying on from the rally in production activity in H213, BMI estimates that steel production in the Netherlands grew once more in 2013, rising to around 6.95mn tonnes, equivalent to a growth rate of 1.0% y-o-y from 2012. Similarly, we estimate that steel consumption in the Netherlands turned around a 6.98% y-o-y contraction in growth in 2012 to record a 2.95% increase to 4.12mn tonnes in 2013.
Full Report Details at
- www.fastmr.com/prod/782580_netherlands_metals_report_q2_2014.asp ..
Tata Steel Europe is aiming to reduce costs by 20% in FY2012/13, while at the same time increasing investment. It is spending EUR800mn in increasing liquid steel-making capacity at Ijmuiden by 500,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) to 7.7mn tpa by 2015-16 while reducing jobs by 1,000. This should significantly improve the competitiveness of its Ijmuiden complex. BMI retains an optimistic outlook for the long-term future of the Dutch steel industry with a swift return to pre-2008 levels by 2014. Tata Steel is investing EUR12mn in enhancing production of specialised corrosion resistant steel with a new finishing line for hot dipped galvanised steel. As a result, the Ijmuiden complex will buck the trend of capacity closures seen elsewhere in Europe and will add value to production, reduce costs and increase volume of cold rolled products. The developments at Ijmuiden justify an optimistic outlook for the long-term future of the industry with a swift return to pre-2008 levels of output by 2014.
On an intercontinental level, in February 2014, the European Parliament passed a resolution backing a plan to revive the bloc's steel industry, calling on the European Commission (EC) and member states to adopt "economically feasible" climate and energy targets. The resolution came just two weeks after the EC scaled down its 2030 climate and energy targets and underlines a new sense of pragmatism in Brussels at a when European growth is slow. In a move unlikely to be popular with the green lobby, the resolution said the most energy efficient steel plants in Europe should not have to bear any additional costs resulting from EU climate policies. It was not immediately clear how the resolution will tally with attempts by the EC to prop up the EU carbon prices by delaying the sale of, or backloading, carbon permits, a major additional cost for industries like steel.
The EC launched the so-called "steel action plan" in June last year in a bid to stem a decline in Europe's steel industry, hit by a roughly 30% drop in demand since 2008 that has led to plant closures. EU industrial output fell to around 15% of GDP last year, well short of an informal goal of 20% by 2020, set by the Commission. The US, by contrast, is reindustrialising with the help of cheap energy thanks to the shale gas boom. Gas prices in Europe are around three times higher than those in the US, prompting the IMF to warn that energy intensive industries like cement and steel could relocate if action is not taken. The IMF estimates these industries employ over 30mn people. Eurofer estimates the European steel industry, which employs millions of people directly and indirectly, has suffered a loss of about 40,000 jobs in recent years.
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