- Language: English
- 77 Pages
- Published: December 2012
- Region: United Kingdom
United Kingdom Metals Report Q4 2011
- Published: November 2011
- Region: United Kingdom, Great Britain
- 45 Pages
- Business Monitor International
Business Monitor International's United Kingdom Metals Report provides industry professionals and strategists, corporate analysts, metals associations, government departments and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on United Kingdom's metals industry.
A slight upturn in UK crude steel output in mid-2011 will not be sustained into H211, with the industry struggling due a sluggish domestic recovery and external trade headwinds caused by the slowdown in the eurozone, according to BMI’s latest UK Metals Report.
The UK has one of the worst performing steel industries in Europe. In the first seven months of 2011, UK crude steel output rose 0.1% to 5.93mn tonnes. This followed a 3.5% decline to 9.71mn tonnes in 2010.
Although monthly output reached 968,000 tonnes in June – the highest rate since January 2010 – BMI believes that output will fall back during H211. However, base effects from a poor H210 should ensure 1.0% growth in crude steel production to 9.81mn tonnes. Output remains down a third from pre-recession norms and BMI does not anticipate resurgence amid the gloomy economic climate. The beginning of a recovery in the sector is expected to be delayed until 2012 at the earliest, when domestic finished steel consumption is expected to rise 5% to 9.8mn tonnes and exports to rise 8.7% to 6.8mn tonnes.
However, it will take until 2015 at the earliest for domestic and external demand to return to normal. Having lagged most other developed states during the recovery, the UK’s economy is now under pressure. That said, for the time being BMI still believes that the economy is traversing a 'soft patch' rather than staring into the jaws of recession. Moreover, as BMI has stressed before, the recovery was never going to be linear, with deleveraging and economic rebalancing coupled with a severe fiscal austerity drive, ensuring that steel output volatility will remain elevated.
BMI does not forecast a full return to pre-recession rates of output over the medium-term and there are question marks over its future direction. High growth steelmaking countries in Europe have tended to be heavily specialised and a recovery in British steel may focus on adding value rather than volume. This process appears to be driving Tata Steel Europe’s restructuring of its British operations (see Competitive Landscape: Steel).
While it is closing or mothballing part of its Scunthorpe plant due to a squeeze on margins caused by rising raw material and electricity costs, as well as poor sales of long products, it is also investing in high-tech machinery at its Scunthorpe and Clydebridge plants to add value to production, although there is little likelihood that this will lead to a rise in net capacity.
Primary aluminium production has already been cut back following the cut in national production capacity to 221,000tpa with the closure of the Anglesey smelter in response to a lack of long-term supply of cheap electricity. While BMI forecasts a return to operating rates of 90% of the 221,000tpa capacity from 2011, this is weighed down with negative risk with the very real prospect of one or both of the country’s smelters closing amid adverse market conditions. Smelter closures are unfortunate, given the British aluminium industry’s reputation for being highly efficient.
The closure of capacity would invariably increase the UK’s reliance on imported aluminium as well as boosting demand for recycled aluminium. Ironically, this will benefit less regulated smelters in Asia which have fewer restrictions on carbon emissions. The transfer of metals production from the UK to lightly regulated emerging markets undermines the British government’s objective of reducing global carbon emissions. SHOW LESS READ MORE >
UK Political SWOT
UK Economic SWOT
UK Business Environment SWOT
Global Market Overview – Steel Forecast
Table: BMI’s Steel Forecast
Table: Steel Price Data
Commodities Forecast – Metals Update
Industry Forecast Scenario
Table: United Kingdom Steel Industry, 2007-2015 (‘000 tonnes unless stated)
Table: United Kingdom – Macroeconomic Activity, 2008-2015
Tata Steel Europe
Rio Tinto Alcan
Global Assumptions, Q4 2011
Table: Global Assumptions, 2009-2015
Table: Global And Regional Real GDP Growth, 2010-2013 (% change y-o-y)
Table: Developed Market Exchange Rates, 2010-2013 (average)
Table: Emerging Market Exchange Rates, 2010-2013 (average)
Table: Developed States’ Real GDP Growth, 2010-2013 (% change y-o-y)
Table: Emerging Markets’ Real GDP Growth Forecasts, 2010-2013 (% change y-o-y)
How We Generate Our Industry Forecasts
- Tata Steel Europe
- Rio Tinto Alcan