It’s time already to look at 2018. Although the calendar says there are only less than two months left, for us it’s already time to think about what’s awaiting us, which prospects the new year has for us and, consequently, how to manage our business.
On the 23rd and 24th of October, the International Nickel Study Group (INSG) meeting was held in Lisbon. A meeting which saw the participation of governmental and industrial representatives and guests from more than 60 countries, in addition to numerous national organisations joined together to analyse the future to come.
So, which are the prospects?
According to Kai Hasenclever, director of the Economic & Statistic division of the International Stainless Steel Forum, 2018 will live a moderately positive situation thanks to the EU and China’s favourable financial climates and thanks to the GDP continuous growth.
The stainless steel consumption will increase in the EU, just like in the rest of the world. Always according to Hasenclever, prospects have improved compared to the beginning of the year. We can very well hope for a positive year, although with contained numbers.
The same predictions have also been expressed in the Economic & Steel Market Outlook 2017-2018 report, both as regards the global market and as regards the single sectors, and this induced Eurofer to increase the growth estimates in the steel consumption.
But let’s talk about Italy…
During the Lisbon convention, in addition to looking at the global markets, we also spoke about the Italian market with a presentation realised by Siderweb and Centro Inox called “Stainless steel in Italy: market and distribution”.
Stefano Ferrari from Siderweb declared that “in 2016 Italy was the eighth global producer of steel and the third one in Europe”.
In the last triennium, on a national level, the output has been substantially stable, with a growing trend which concerned laminated production.
According to the investigation conducted by Centro Inox and Assofermet about the national distribution sector, this was in 2014 composed by 175 companies, 118 of which with less than 15 employees and only 26 with more than 30 employees. 85% is located in northern Italy. This sector is dominated by micro-businesses: 38% of the businesses deals with amounts below 1.000 tonnes per year and 53% below 2.000 tonnes per year. The total amount of the material treated by the distribution division is slightly less than one million tonnes per year, equal to roughly 60% of the national consumption. The 2008 crisis had a strong impact on the division, with 31% of the businesses on the market in 2004 having to close ten years later.
Let’s then face 2018 with optimism: are you with us?