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Announcement:

Moody's: Cheap imports, weak demand fuel negative outlook on European, Russian steel sectors in 2017

08 Dec 2016

London, 08 December 2016 -- Risk of price falls and profitability pressures on the back of competition from cheap imports underpin the negative outlook for the European steel sector in 2017, says Moody's Investors Service in a report published today. The 2017 outlook on the Russian steel sector is also negative on weak domestic demand.

Moody's report, titled "Steel -- Europe and Russia: 2017 Outlook -- Negative due to Imports in Europe, Weak Demand in Russia", is available on www.moodys.com. Moody's subscribers can access this report via the link provided at the end of this press release. This report is part of a series of 2017 Credit Outlooks that provide insight into next year's credit conditions across all sectors. See more at www.moodys.com/2017outlooks

"Steel imports to Europe will continue to grow next year, despite anti-dumping duties, placing pressure on prices and the profits of European steelmakers. In Russia, we expect domestic steel demand to remain weak until the economy, consumer confidence and purchasing power stabilises," says Hubert Allemani, a Moody's Vice President -- Senior Analyst and author of the report.

Other factors underpinning the negative outlook on the European steel sector include uncertainty around the sustainability of the rebound in steel prices, expected weak 1% demand growth in 2017, and the additional threat to profitability from rising raw material costs.

Moody's expects Europe's purchasing managers' index (PMI) to remain above 50 for the next 12 months, pointing to economic expansion, which is positive for steel consumption. Capacity utilisation should remain at the low end of the rating agency's stable range of 75% to 85%, mostly depending on the level of regional demand.

In Russia, contributors to Moody's negative outlook on the country's steel sector include the bleak prospects for a recovery in the country's manufacturing PMI to sustainably above 50 until the economy stabilises, which will depend largely on oil prices. Trade protection measures in export markets will also increasingly pose a risk to Russian steelmakers. That said, steel companies' profitability will remain high even at low prices thanks to low costs as a result of the weak rouble and operating efficiencies achieved over the last few years.

Moody's subscribers can access the report at: http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_1050546

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS ONLY: For more information, please call one of our global press information hotlines: London +44-20-7772-5456, New York +1-212-553-0376, Tokyo +813-5408-4110, Hong Kong +852-3758-1350, Sydney +61-2-9270-8141, Mexico City 001-888-779-5833, São Paulo 0800-891-2518, or Buenos Aires 0800-666-3506. You can also email us at mediarelations@moodys.com or visit our web site at www.moodys.com.

This publication does not announce a credit rating action. For any credit ratings referenced in this publication, please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for the most updated credit rating action information and rating history.

Hubert Allemani
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
One Canada Square
Canary Wharf
London E14 5FA
United Kingdom
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Anke N Richter, CFA
Associate Managing Director
Corporate Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
One Canada Square
Canary Wharf
London E14 5FA
United Kingdom
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

No Related Data.
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