Economic and market outlook

Economic and steel market outlook 2021-2022, fourth quarter

Fourth quarter 2021 report. Data up to, and including, second quarter 2021.


The positive trend seen in apparent steel consumption as well as in steel-using sectoral output continued over the second quarter of 2021, at a considerably higher pace than in the first quarter of 2021. This was driven by the ongoing recovery in demand from the industry sector, where output bounced back after the losses experienced during the pandemic.

At the same time, this is also due to the comparison with the very low output levels seen one year earlier. The second quarter of 2020 saw widespread lockdowns and stoppages to industrial activity that were implemented across the EU as a result of the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, the general economic and industrial recovery in the EU appears to be increasingly uneven and exposed to downside risks, mainly the ongoing, severe disruptions in the global supply chain (i.e. shortage of components and raw materials, skyrocketing energy prices, rising shipping costs, etc.), as well as the sluggish implementation of vaccination plans in some Member States and COVID-19 variants.

Recovery in steel-using industries and in steel demand is expected to continue through 2021 but at a moderate rate and subject to considerable uncertainty at least until the first quarter of 2022, when most of the current global supply chain disruptions are expected to disappear or to ease significantly.


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Published: 28 October 2021


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