The main suppliers of flat products in the EU last year were South Korea, India, Taiwan and Vietnam

In 2023, the European Union reduced imports of flat products by 8% compared to 2022, to 20.11 million tons. Imports fell to the lowest level since 2020, the period of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is evidenced by GMK Center’s calculations based on Eurostat data.

The dynamics of flat products imports over the past 6 years is as follows:

  • 2018 – 22.35 million tons;
  • 2019 – 20.11 million tons (-10% y/y);
  • 2020 – 17.17 million tons (-14.7% y/y);
  • 2021 – 23.99 million tons (+39.7% y/y);
  • 2022 – 21.86 million tons (-8.9% y/y);
  • 2023 – 20.11 million tons (-8% y/y).

The main suppliers of flat products to the EU are Asian countries, in particular, South Korea – 3.1 million tons (+9.3% y/y), India – 2.73 million tons (+15.5% y/y), Taiwan – 2.38 million tons (+11.6% y/y), Vietnam – 2.12 million tons (+36.5% y/y), Japan – 1.75 million tons (+23.2% y/y). At the same time, Turkiye last year reduced supplies of flat products to the EU by 52.2% y/y – to 1.39 million tons, and China – by 25.7% y/y, to 1.45 million tons.

Thus, in 2023, Eastern countries, excluding China, sharply increased their exports of flat products to the EU, replacing producers from China and Turkiye due to more attractive prices. Turkish producers have been unable to compete with Asian exporters as they face high production costs. In addition, the overall decline in steel consumption in the EU has also limited imports.

«Asian producers offered the lowest prices. Consequently, consumers in the EU were interested in buying their products, so the quotas allocated to Asian countries were filled very quickly. Prices for Asian flat products were generally lower than those of European producers, so it is highly likely that the European Union will introduce anti-dumping duties on such products,» Andrii Glushchenko, GMK Center analyst noted

Last year HRC was the most imported product among steel sheets – 10.4 million tons (+9.2% y/y). In general, in 2023, the EU imported 27.07 million tons of finished steel products, which is 12% less than in 2022.