Europe's Steelmakers Warn They're Being Thrown Back Into Crisis

(Bloomberg) -- European steelmakers are warning they’re on the cusp of being thrown back into crisis amid weak demand and high levels of imports.

“Surging import volumes, stalling economic growth, high and volatile raw material costs and sharply growing carbon costs are coming together to form a perfect storm that could knock the European steel industry back into a period of severe crisis,” regional lobby group Eurofer said in a statement Thursday.

European steelmakers have been feeling the pinch across the continent as demand contracts, especially from the normally profit-driving auto sector, and countries such as Turkey export record amounts of steel into the region.

Last week, the world’s biggest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal, cut its outlook for the region while posting its weakest profit in three years. Smaller rivals Thyssenkrupp AG and Kloeckner & Co. have also posted disappointing results, while privately held British Steel Ltd. has been forced to ask the government for a bailout.

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