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Recently Released Market Study: Austria Metals Report Q4 2012

Fast Market Research recommends "Austria Metals Report Q4 2012" from Business Monitor International, now available


Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/20/2012 -- BMI's Austria Metals Report for Q4 2012 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.

Austria's leading steelmaker Voestalpine has thrived on strong demand for the special steel used in tools and turbines, which largely rode out the recession, and the country's steel industry has benefited from efficiency improvements and cost optimisation programmes. In H111, it thrived as a result of its specialisation in high quality sectors and its relationship with the German automotive industry, which experienced a solid recovery, as well as machine making and advanced energy technologies. However, the rebound was not sustained through H211 and into 2012. The performance of Austria's steel industry deteriorated in the first seven months of 2012 when crude output declined 3.6% year-on-year (y-o-y) to 4.43mn tonnes (mnt). Although volume has contracted, Austria still outperformed the 4.6% contraction reported for the whole of the EU.

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Voestalpine is also upbeat, expressing its confidence that business will pick up. While volume may not increase, sales could be boosted by a rise in product prices. Austrian steelmaking has suffered from the structural oversupply of standard grades, which has driven down prices on the EU market despite cutbacks in output. This has put downward pressure on margins, although there is no immediate sign of any idling of capacity. However, capacity constraints will prevent any further significant growth in crude steel over the long term, although BMI expects investment in downstream sectors.

Over the last quarter BMI have revised the following forecasts/views:

- BMI has maintained its crude steel production growth forecast of 0.1% to 7.5mnt for 2012. We anticipate slow but steady growth from 2013 in line with European market trends.
- 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, trends will mirror steel consumption although the trend will be stronger due to the reliance on consumer goods and automotive sectors, with a 7% decline in consumption to 320,000 tonnes in 2012, following growth of 15% to 344,000 tonnes in 2011. By 2016, consumption rates should be exceeding 381,000 tonnes.

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