European Union steel-market conditions aren't expected to improve before 2013 as a result of the EU's sovereign-debt crisis, the European Steel Association, or Eurofer, said in a statement late Thursday.
This marks a delay from its May report in which Eurofer said it expected E.U. apparent steel demand to start recovering in the third quarter and real demand to start recovering in the fourth quarter.
Wolfgang Eder, chairman of Eurofer and CEO of Austrian specialty steelmaker Voestalpine AG (VOE.VI), said in a statement: "We need answers to the challenges facing the euro zone if we are to see confidence return to the markets and Europe's economy brought back on track."
European steelmakers are considering further production cuts in order to remove excess capacity from the market. ArcelorMittal (MT), the world's largest steelmaker, plans to carry out maintenance on two blast furnaces in the third quarter and is only expected to restart them depending on the level of demand. India-based Tata Steel Ltd. (500470.BY), Europe's second-largest steelmaker after ArcelorMittal, is also planning to shut down a U.K. a blast furnace in July in order to rebuild the furnace and may delay its restart depending on demand.
Eurofer had previously expected E.U. apparent steel demand to rise 0.2% on year. A senior executive at one of the top five steelmakers, however, said that he had also expected E.U. apparent steel demand to rise but now expects European flat-steel demand to drop 8% on year in the third quarter.