Tag Archives: Europe

More trade protection on the way in Europe?

After having gone after imports of both hot-rolled coil (HRC) and cold-rolled coil (CRC) this year, will the European Commission soon be turning its attention to imports of galvanized steel? (primarily hot-dipped galvanized material (HDG))

In all likelihood yes but just how effective would any import restrictions be?

Let’s take a look at the case for implementing trade protection measures on these products and what effect they may have.

Continue reading More trade protection on the way in Europe?

What now for the UK automotive industry post-Brexit?

A month on from the UK’s referendum vote to leave the EU and the focus has quickly shifted onto how the relationship between the EU and the UK will be managed in the future, and indeed whether the UK may benefit or suffer from its decision to leave the EU.

One industry that has a particular interest in this changing landscape is the UK’s automotive industry. With around 80% of its output heading for international markets (more than 50% alone heads to other EU countries), and with the majority of components used by the industry imported, the UK’s automotive industry will be a keen observer of how the UK’s international trading relations develop over the coming years.

Continue reading What now for the UK automotive industry post-Brexit?

Prices down but profitability quietly creeps up in Europe’s steel industry

With prices of many commodities at multi-year lows, recent financial releases from some of Europe’s major steelmakers delivered a reminder that not everything is bad in the steel industry.

Following an improvement in profit margins last year, Europe’s steelmakers have continued their resurgence during the first half of 2015.

chart1

Why, when most stories surrounding the steel and commodity markets are overwhelmingly negative these days, might this be the case?

Continue reading Prices down but profitability quietly creeps up in Europe’s steel industry

US tinplate industry in trouble

A recent article in The Economist highlighted the problems being faced by US manufacturers in the face of a strengthening dollar.

Indeed, with economic data for Europe increasingly surprising on the upside so far this year, and that of the USA increasingly disappointing, there are ever more questions over whether the positive economic data coming out of Europe is merely coming at the expense of that in the USA following the large shift in value of each region’s currency.

Put simply, US goods have become much more expensive in overseas markets while European goods have become relatively cheaper.

A look at the world’s tinplate industry, which has shown little-to-no global growth over the past decade, suggests that growth in one region at the expense of growth in another is very much a real phenomenon.

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Italy the sick man of Europe’s steel market

The phrase ‘sick man of Europe’ has been used time and again over the past century, and used against almost every individual European state at one point or another to describe a country afflicted by economic adversity or impoverishment.

During much of the 1970s the UK enjoyed the dubious honour, while in the 1990s it was Germany’s turn. With their inability to balance a government budget for more than 30 years, both France and Italy have regularly contended for the title.

Nowadays it is a hotly-disputed mantle and, depending upon which statistics are looked at, a case could be made for any number of countries. In the European steel industry, however, there is one market that stands out as suffering particular adversity. That market is Italy.

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