BMI View: In Q214 we are sticking with our full-year production forecasts for Belgium's steel sector. An up-tick in Belgium's economic growth in 2014 is unlikely to filter down into the country's steel sector with the industry continuing to be hit by overcapacity coupled with sluggish demand deriving, in part, from weak growth across the region's automotive sector. The country's largest producer continues to downsize its Belgium operations, in favour of channelling investment to neighbouring regions, such as France.
Meanwhile recent calls to introduce subsidies to support the European steel industry have led to suggestions that the Belgian government may move to nationalise ArcelorMittal's steel operations in Liege. Nationalisation may provide support for Belgium's steel sector which is being hit by flatlining demand from across the eurozone region, including from its main export market, Germany. Falling local demand has been exacerbated by an influx of cheap Chinese steel following increasing production from Chinese steel works leading to overcapacity.
Pessimism surrounding future levels of demand across Europe has led to led to cut-backs being made by a number of the country's major steel producers including ArcelorMittal and Duferco. ArcellorMittal has 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. Meanwhile, the company has been looking for outside investment in the plant's additional facilities. 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 BMI Q1 2014 report analyses the impact this will have on Belgian steel production as a whole.
BMI does not foresee significant improvement in demand over the coming months; EU automotive demand is set for another year of weak growth having suffered a contraction of 5.2% year-on-year...
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.
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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).