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Germany's metals sector will continue to feel the squeeze in the coming quarters as output prices remain
low and costs stay stubbornly high. We forecast subdued growth in consumption of key metals such as
steel, copper and aluminium, chiefly due to a weak outlook for economic activity in the country.
Moreover, ongoing political and economic malaise in the eurozone will ensure demand from the most
important export market remains muted.
Illustrative of challenges faced by the wider metals sector, steel mills will remain under significant
pressure, as low output prices squeeze margins. This will encourage consolidation of operations and
dampen output growth. We do not forecast steel production will return to growth until 2015 as low prices
will continue to bite. We forecast steel output of 41.7mn tonnes (mnt) in 2016, which would be 5.6%
below 2011 output and 13.9% below the 2007 peak level.
ThyssenKrupp is Germany's largest steel maker, with a production capacity of around 16mn tonnes per
annum (mntpa). ArcelorMittal has a further 8.0mntpa capacity located at sites in Bremen, Duisburg,
Eisenhüttenstadt and Hamburg. Due to its proximity to Poland, the Eisenhüttenstadt steelworks exports
nearly half its output to Central and Eastern Europe. The other three ArcelorMittal facilities are reliant on
West European markets for their exports. Salzgitter AG is the third largest steelmaker with plants in
Salzgitter and Peine in the middle of the country.