BMI View: Production data for H1 2014 indicate robust growth across the Belgium steel sector with the industry on track for its first full-year of positive output since 2011. While the short-term outlook for Belgium's steel sector is looking increasingly positive, we caution that weak domestic consumption, coupled with a stuttering eurozone recovery is likely to make local producers wary of increasing capacity.
The Q4 2014 Belgium Metals Report assesses the health the country's metals sector, with a focus on the production of crude steel and related finished steel products. Our analysis assesses the outlook for the steel sector against the backdrop of European market struggling with weak local consumption and increasing competition from imported Chinese steel.
Following two consecutive years of falling output, BMI is forecasting 2014 to return positive growth in steel production, with an increase of 4.6% year-on-year (y-o-y) projected.
Supporting our forecasts are signs that Belgium's major steel producers are starting to reverse their recent downsizing strategies, following cut-backs being made by a number of producers including ArcelorMittal and Duferco.
In H1 2014, Belgium's largest steelmaker ArcelorMittal made upgrades worth EUR18mn to its Industeel steel production facility in Charleroi. The company had previously mothballed a number of local production facilities and whose flagship operations in Liege have been the subject of rumours of a government-backed takeover. ArcelorMittal has since pledged to keep its five core finishing lines open at Liege due to their ability to produce dedicated high quality products, which are still in demand within Europe. The steelmaker has also reportedly been looking for outside investment in the plant's additional facilities. However, expected furnace closures by both companies mean that Belgium will not return to pre-crisis volumes of production even after a recovery in European demand.
The Belgium Metals Report has been researched at source, and features latest-available data for steel, aluminium and other major globally-traded commodities. Our analysis covers all primary indicators, including production, exports and price, with our forecasts underpinned by Business Monitor International (BMI)'s macroeconomists global economic outlook. The report analyses trends and prospects and critically evaluates latest industry news, trends and regulatory developments in Belgium.
BMI's Belgium Metals Report provides industry professionals and strategists, sector analysts, business investors, trade associations and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the metals industry in Belgium.
- Benchmark BMI's independent metals industry forecasts for Belgium to test other views - a key input for successful budgeting and strategic business planning in the Belgium metals market.
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BMI Industry View
Summary of BMI's key forecasts and industry analysis, covering metals production and prices, plus analysis of landmark company developments and key changes in the regulatory environment.
SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of the state's metals sector, business environment, politics and economics, which carefully evaluates the short- and medium-term issues facing the industry.
Global Metals Market Overview
Global demand, supply and price forecasts for steel and aluminium, as well as gold, copper and tin, drawing on both our industry expertise and our macroeconomic and financial market team's long-term global demand forecasts and shorter-term market views.
Historic data series and forecasts to end-2018 for all key industry indicators (see list below) supported by explicit assumptions, plus analysis of key downside risks to the main forecast.
Production (`000 tonnes, US$bn), consumption (`000 tonnes, US$bn), exports (`000 tonnes, US$bn); prices (US$/tonne), and growth (%).
BMI forecasts to end-2018 for headline country macroeconomic indicators, including real GDP growth (%), GDP per capita (US$), population (mn), industrial production index (% y-o-y average) and unemployment (% of labour force).