Steel Industry Affected by Lowered Demand During COVID-19 Outbreak
Global crude steel production decreased by 1.4% in the first 3 months of 2020 compared to the same period in the previous year. Although steel was declared an essential industry in several countries, demand for steel production has fallen sharply during the pandemic. Automotive manufacturing, one of the largest consumers of steel, has been curtailed in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 while falling energy prices have led to much lower demand from sectors like oil and gas. Many non-essential construction projects have been halted as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak which has also negatively affected demand for steel.
Recently, several automotive manufacturers such as Volvo, Toyota, VW, Nissan and Seat have announced plans to begin re-opening factories and restarting vehicle production in the European Union and United Kingdom which could lead to increased demand for steel. There are also signs that China, the largest metal consumer in the world, is moving towards recovery with imports of semi-finished steel increasing over the last two months.
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