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"Sweden Metals Report Q1 2014" Published

New Materials market report from Business Monitor International: "Sweden Metals Report Q1 2014"

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Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/31/2013 -- BMI's Q1 2014 Sweden Metals report examines the trends within the country's steel and aluminium sectors and assesses the challenges facing the industry's key players as they look to recover from the downturn in metal demand and prices over the past few years.

Demand for steel and other industrial metals will continue to remain subdued over the short-term which is largely the result of a weaker than expected eurozone recovery. We forecast GDP for the region to grow by just 1% in 2013 which will have a knock-on effect for both demand and prices for steel and other industrial metals.

The Sweden metals Q1 2014 report also examines how producers are responding to volatile market conditions and examines trends. The report also analyses the growth and risk management strategies being employed by the leading players in the steel and aluminium sectors, as they seek to maximise the growth opportunities in niche markets, such as energy plants.

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With the economic outlook for the region still less than assured, Swedish steelmakers, including industry leader SSAB, have maintained a cautious outlook. Many firms continue to operate at under-capacity in order to maintain a balance between supply and demand. SSAB has yet to restart of one of its three blast furnaces in Sweden, which had been closed due to weak market conditions. One of two blast furnaces in Oxelsoeund was shut down in mid-2011 for relining, which has been completed. A similar trend is being seen in the aluminium sector with Russian firm Rusal, one of the largest operators in Sweden, among the firms reportedly considering plans to downsize capacity in the short-term in order to support price levels.

Despite adverse market conditions for the metals sector, we maintain that Sweden will remain one of the fastest growing economies in Western Europe through the long term, with a sustainable growth model and limited macroeconomic risks.

BMI holds the following forecasts/views:

- We forecast Swedish steel production to grow by 2.1% in 2014 to 4.36mn tonnes (mnt). Annual average growth is projected at 1.4% over our 2013-2017 forecast period, at the end of which we expect production to have reached 4.64mnt per year.
- With 60% of total production comprised of alloyed steel, including stainless, the sector will continue to be influenced by the trends in the automotives industry. With this in mind we forecast steel consumption growth to come in at a moderate 1% in 2014, compared with 2% in 2013.
- We maintain a below-consensus forecast for global aluminium prices and expect prices for the metal to average US$1,900/tonne in 2014 as a result of continued overcapacity within the sector coupled with weak demand.

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