Brussels, 27 March 2019 – Ahead of the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity (GFSEC) meeting on 28-29 March, the European Steel Association (EUROFER) calls for the forum’s mandate to be extended, ahead of its expiry in November. The GFSEC has begun an important transparency and policy process, but its work is not yet complete.
“We call on members of
the Global Forum to agree on a continuation of the forum’s mandate beyond
November 2019”, said Axel Eggert, Director General of EUROFER. “Continued
international work on excess capacity and related government support measures
would contribute to the sustainability of our global industry.”
The GFSEC was
established in late 2016, on the instruction of G20 Leaders. The Forum set out
to gather information and report on the evolution of steel supply and demand
conditions, steel production capacity, and government policies that lead to
global overcapacity, such as subsidies.
“GFSEC’s work has
already produced results, such as detailed statistics on steel capacity and
production around the world and has instigated work to cut excess capacity
where it is needed most”, added Mr Eggert.
However, while progress
has been made – notably an agreement in December 2017 on principles and
recommendations whereby countries and regions dismantle market-distorting
subsidies and other government support measures and share data and information
on the process of capacity reduction – this is still the beginning of the
overcapacity is still at least 550 million tonnes, according to the OECD”,
emphasised Mr Eggert. “We are still very much at the beginning of the process,
and there is clearly a need for the GFSEC’s mandate to be extended”.
Since the Forum’s first
meeting two-and-a-half years ago, momentum has been steadily building; there is
currently a clear level of commitment and resolve among the world’s major
steel-producing countries to effectively tackle excess steel capacity,
including its root causes. This momentum should not be lost, EUROFER believes.
“In a world where global
overcapacity is still very much present – and with proliferating trade
distortions – there is a greater need than ever for the GFSEC”, concluded Mr
Eggert. “Not renewing the mandate of the Global Forum would mean abandoning the
global steel industry when it is still at a perilous juncture. Effective multilateral
cooperation is needed in order to preserve fair and free trade in this
EUROFER Economic and Market Outlook 2019-2020
Economic and Market Outlook 2019-2020, published on 31 January 2019 can be
About the European Steel Association (EUROFER)
EUROFER AISBL is located
in Brussels and was founded in 1976. It represents the entirety of steel
production in the European Union. EUROFER members are steel companies and
national steel federations throughout the EU. The major steel companies and
national steel federations in Switzerland and Turkey are associate members.
About the European steel industry
The European steel
industry is a world leader in innovation and environmental sustainability. It
has a turnover of around €170 billion and directly employs 320,000
highly-skilled people, producing on average 160 million tonnes of steel per
year. More than 500 steel production sites across 22 EU Member States provide
direct and indirect employment to millions more European citizens. Closely
integrated with Europe’s manufacturing and construction industries, steel is
the backbone for development, growth and employment in Europe.
Steel is the most
versatile industrial material in the world. The thousands of different grades
and types of steel developed by the industry make the modern world possible.
Steel is 100% recyclable and therefore is a fundamental part of the circular
economy. As a basic engineering material, steel is also an essential factor in
the development and deployment of innovative, CO2-mitigating technologies,
improving resource efficiency and fostering sustainable development in Europe.