As for industry players, they are very cautious in their outlook for the European steel market. ArcelorMittal, for example, has trimmed its year-end forecast, with growth in apparent steel demand in Europe now projected within a range of -0.5% to +1.5%, compared with the +0.5% to +2.5% projected earlier, while Sweden’s SSAB expects an even steeper downturn in the third quarter than a quarter earlier.
Demand is driven down by malaise in the construction sector, which consumes around 35% of the EU’s steel output (see Fig. 3), with recession there expected at 0.5% in 2023. According to the European Construction Industry Federation, investment in construction this year is set to drop 2.5%.