UK steel output at standstill in 2012 as eurozone crisis bites

Posted on 28 Jan 2013

UK steel output in 2012 was just 1% higher than in 2011, according to annual data published by UK Steel, a division of manufacturers’ organisation EEF.

This equated to average production of 184,264 tonnes per week in 2012 compared to 182,269 tonnes per week in 2011.

The figures not only reflect the continuing economic stagnation but, more specifically, reduced automotive production in Europe together with the low level of construction activity in the UK.

Ian Rodgers, director of UK Steel, commented: “This virtual standstill position is despite the export-oriented plant in Teesside re-starting last spring under new ownership and leaves UK steel output still around 30% below 2008/9 levels.”

Calling for government investment in infrastructure and other construction activities, Rodgers said the two main reasons for the disappointing result are the continuing low level of UK construction output, which contributed to the closure of the Thamesteel plant last January, and the more recent slowdown in European automotive production.

He concluded: “The data also underline the need for an industrial strategy, with the whole of government pulling together to frame policies that encourage industrial growth and support UK manufacturing competitiveness.”