Crude Steel Production
After enjoying 2 relatively strong years, UK crude steel production declined in 2015 by 9%. The main contributor was the failure of SSI BOS slab facility on Teesside. Given that 2016 will include a full year without SSI’s contribution there is a very real chance that UK production will come in at the lowest level since the 1930’s.
Steel demand in the UK fell by 3% in 2015 which, although disappointing, still represented the second highest annual demand since the downturn in 2009. Import share having been on a steady upward trajectory since 2009, also saw a modest decline in 2015, to 59% but remains at a high level on a recent trend basis.
Trade in Steel
UK exports declined by 15% in 2015 relative to the previous year. Whilst the closure of the SSI plant, which produced slabs for sale in the RoW markets of Thailand, Turkey and USA, was the main contributor, exports to EU destinations also fell by 8%.
Imports in 2015 also decreased, falling by 3%, driven by reductions from countries such as Turkey, India and Taiwan being offset by increases from Russia and China. Imports from EU sources remained broadly flat.
The geographical split of UK steel exports and imports over 2014 and 2015 is shown below: