Expectations regarding the growth of the indicator in 2025 have improved – from +2.9% y/y to +5.4% y/y

The European steel association EUROFER expects apparent steel consumption in the European Union to grow by 3.2% in 2024 compared to 2023, to 130 million tons. The previous forecast envisaged a 5.6% y/y increase to 137 million tons. This is stated in the association’s review «Economic and steel market outlook 2024-2025, second quarter».

Expectations for the growth of apparent steel consumption in the EU in 2025, on the contrary, improved – from +2.9% to +5.4%. At the same time, consumption decreased from 140 million tons to 137 million tons.

In 2023, apparent steel consumption in the European Union fell by 8.7% compared to 2022, to 126 million tons. The figure has updated the low of 2020 (129 million tons), the period of the highest restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The main impetus for growth in 2024 is expected to come in the first quarter – +6% y/y. In the second quarter, apparent steel consumption is expected to grow by 1.8% y/y, in the third quarter – by 4.6% y/y, and in the fourth quarter – by only 0.2% y/y.

The decline in 2023 was the fourth annual decline in steel consumption in the EU. The period of severe stagnation in steel demand began in the second quarter of 2022 due to the effects of the war in Ukraine, including supply chain disruptions, rising energy prices and production costs. Steel demand fell significantly, and this negative cycle continued until the fourth quarter of 2023. In 2024, the indicator is expected to recover somewhat amid improving industrial prospects and steel demand. At the same time, the overall consumption dynamics remains under the influence of significant uncertainty in the market outlook.

As GMK Center reported earlier, in 2023, EU steelmakers reduced steel production by 7.4% compared to 2022, to 126.3 million tons. In December, steel production increased by 2.7% y/y – to 9.1 million tons.