Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/28/2012 -- The Austria Metals Report examines the long-term potential of the country's speciality steel sector, but warns that reliance on the EU market poses a significant risk in the short-term.
The report examines how the industry is seeking to overcome a challenging external environment through innovation and investment. The report also explores the metals industry's relationship with the automotive sector. The growth and risk management strategies being employed by the leading players in the Austrian metals industry are also analysed, as they look to emerging markets for growth.
Austrian crude steel output managed to hold up well in the first few months of 2012 despite a worsening external situation. Although output declined 0.7% y-o-y in the first four months of the year, there was a reversal of the fall in production seen in the final two months of the year when monthly output fell below 600,000 tonnes. Although volume has contracted, Austria still outperformed the 4.1% contraction reported for the whole of the EU.
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The country benefited from efficiency improvements and cost optimisation programmes. It has bucked the global trend largely as a result of its specialisation in high quality sectors and its relationship with the German automotive industry, which is experiencing a solid recovery, as well as machine making and advanced energy technologies. The company is looking to diversify its markets away from the EU.
Around a quarter of Voestalpine's sales are in emerging markets outside Europe and it is hoping to raise this share to up to 50% by 2022.
Over the last quarter BMI have revised the following forecasts/views:
- BMI believes that Austria will sustain monthly output at the volumes seen in the January-April period, reaching around 7.5mn tonnes for the full year. This is an upward revision from the 2.9% decline in production forecast in the previous quarter.
- Domestic finished steel consumption is set to resume growth from 2013 and by 2016 should exceed levels seen before the 2008 financial crisis.
- In the aluminium market consumption is set to decline 7% to 320,000 tonnes in 2012. By 2016, consumption rates should be exceeding 381,000 tonnes.
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