2010: Steel, still hard times?
2009 was a very difficult year for the steel sector. Since the second half of 2008 the effects of the global crisis have dramatically affected the sector. In particular, steel experienced a severe contraction of production in 2009, decreasing by 8% compared to the previous year. Steel demand dropped as well in 2009 decreasing by 14%. Significant geographical differences among areas. Advanced economies, where the slowdown of steel consuming sectors was dramatic, reported a strong decrease of steel production and consumption. Emerging economies showed a good resilience to global crisis and a moderate impact on the steel sector.
Analysts forecast a strong recovery for 2010. Global steel production is expected to return to grow this year by increasing 10%. This performance should be led by government stimulus packages to consumer and investment goods, the recovery of companies’ inventories and strong demand from emerging markets.
The downturn of the world steel sector affected Italian companies. Companies producing high value steel products and metals working machinery were the most affected by the sector slowdown. Discovering new markets and investing in R&D will be crucial strategies for long term recovery.