Orgalime (www.orgalime.org), the European engineering industries association representing the interests of the mechanical, electrical, electronic, metalworking and metal articles industries, has asked the European institutions to focus on free but fair trade and not to introduce market restrictive measures which it says will inevitably jeopardize the capacity of European engineering and manufacturing businesses to continue working in the European Union.
“If increasing quantities of certain steel grades are finding their way into the European market, it is clear that this is because of demand in the EU is on the rise, while output is not able to keep up and stocks of steel in the EU are limited,” said Adrian Harris, secretary general of Orgalime. “Our companies are therefore finding it ever more difficult to buy steel locally in the quantities and qualities they need at competitive conditions. To make matters worse, the EU, which today has the highest steel price worldwide for many grades, is fast becoming a premium market for steel producers.”
Harris added: “It just does not make sense to hit the competitiveness of the EU’s metalworking and mechanical engineering SMEs, which provides over 7 million jobs throughout the EU, to protect the interests of an industry, which, through its increasingly global development, now only provides 250.000 jobs in a few European countries. For us matters are simple: our companies must have access to the supplies of steel they need at competitive market conditions. If our traditional suppliers in Europe can provide these, all the better. If not, we need to find alternatives for our companies to be able to continue manufacturing here”.
Orgalime said the EU's engineering industry uses about two thirds of steel produced in Europe but was having to turn to imports due to a lack of supply from local steelmakers which were enjoying record profits thanks to high prices.