ArcelorMittal: Two-speed recovery persists in Europe
Last Update: 28/10/2010 11:00:45
ArabSteel- In Europe, there remains a two-speed recovery. Real [steel] demand in northern Europe is good, especially in Germany and those economies linked closely to it. Southern Europe, though, remains depressed, Arcelormittal's chief executive Lakshmi Mittal commented on the EU's steel market status. The company is adapting its steel production in Europe accordingly, “focusing production where demand is, trying to produce at our lowest cost plants and trying to be as flexible as possible in our production costs,” group management board member said. “Today we are operating with 18 blast furnaces in Europe, and over the third quarter we have progressively shut down three blast furnaces, as had been announced – one in Poland, one in Florange and one in Dunkirk – to adapt our capacity to reduced consumer demand, and this... will continue in Q4,” he added. “Apparent steel consumption in Europe was impacted by seasonal factors in the third quarter and declined by 17% compared to the second quarter. The pace of year-on-year growth is slowing too. Apparent steel consumption in September was the same level as September 2009. For the fourth quarter, apparent demand should marginally increase due to seasonal effects,” Mittal noted. “While inventories [in Europe] have increased, they are not out of step with underlying demand levels. August months of rotation were in line with the historical average of 2.1 months, which suggests no excess material in the market,” he maintained.
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