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UK steel production jumps in first quarter

28 April 2011

UK steel output in the first quarter of 2011 showed a significant increase on the last quarter of 2010, on the back of the strong performance of manufacturing and the recovery in world economies. In particular, demand from the automotive and oil & gas sectors was strong, though demand from construction fell away in response to cuts in public sector investment.

According to the latest figures on steel production released today by UK Steel, a division of EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, production in the first quarter of 2011 averaged 188,938 tonnes per week. This was 10.0% higher than the fourth quarter of 2010. (171,739 tonnes per week).

Compared to the same quarter last year production was 4.3% lower at 197,508 tonnes per week. However, this latter comparison is distorted by the inclusion of the currently mothballed steel plant at Teesside, which continued to produce through to the middle of February last year.

Ian Rodgers, Director of UK Steel said: "The fact that there is no clear upward trend in UK steel output demonstrates the conflicting developments in UK and European steel markets. We are continuing to experience good demand from manufacturing industry, and in particular from sectors such as automotive and oil & gas.

"Demand from construction however is very poor, and the sharp fall in public sector investment means that improvements from this sector will be slow and fitful."

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