Europe's second largest steelmaker, Corus, said on Monday there has been a slowdown in steel demand and the company was taking steps to adjust its production to the new situation. "There's clearly been a slowdown in steel demand, which we have noticed in the United Kingdom, in export markets and in Southern Europe," a spokesman for Corus told Reuters. "We are taking the steps to adjust our production to tie in with the new demand realities and to maintain a low level of stocks," he said.
This decision by Corus follows similar decisions taken by Mittal and several Chinese Steel producers. If steel production was to be maintained as typical 2008 levels, the fall in demand would inevitably lead (and is leading already) to falling steel prices. Whilst steel users could use some relief from the escalating costs incurred this year, the steel companies already facing falls in their share prices will do everything to resist a reduction in price. It's going to be a tough year ahead.