Economic turmoil hits steel makers

BRITISH steel producers are cutting back production due to falling business morale across Europe, it was revealed this morning.

Companies are running down stock levels over fears of tumbling demand in key markets.

Steel production sank 7.3 per cent in the three months to September, compared to in the second quarter, a report from UK Steel revealed.

“The summer holiday period is always relatively quiet but there is usually a distinct rebound,” commented Ian Rodgers of UK Steel, a subsidiary of the EEF manufacturers’ association.

“What is disturbing about these figures is that September output improved only slightly from August.”

Production equalled 179,300 tonnes per week in the third quarter of the year, compared to 193,400 tonnes per week in the previous second quarter.

Steel output remains 34 per cent below its pre-recession level, measured in the third quarter of 2008, the report said.

“It is now essential that government implements a compensation package for energy intensive sectors such as steel,” Rodgers added. “This will help companies maintain their competitiveness and control their cost base through this uncertain phase in demand.”