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European steelwork industry in good shape

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Delegates to the recent annual conference of the European Convention for Constructional Steelwork (ECCS) reported an overall sector that is gaining market share.

Held in Poiana Brasov, Romania, the conference was attended by more than 100 delegates from most of the European member countries.

Geoffrey Taylor, Marketing Director of Caunton Engineering and Editor of the ECCS annual statistical bulletin, commented: “Some countries spend a great deal researching their annual statistics, for although domestic steelwork industries cannot influence their market size they can influence the market share.”

“In the UK for instance, Corus has been investing in its research since the 1970s and seen steel’s multi-storey figure climb from 30% to 70%,” he added.

Corus’ statistics showed how the Dutch and the UK steelwork industries continue to dominate their single storey markets – both over 90%.

Meanwhile, France has 60% of its single storey market and Norway slightly more than 50%. “Other member countries’ market share returns are not so specific, and in certain cases not carried out at all,” Mr Taylor said.

Some countries reported particular threats to their steelwork sectors. Austria and Switzerland both reported official and substantial promotion of timber framing, while some of nations said the recent steel price rises had threatened their domestic fabrication industries.

On a positive note, the Danish market is booming and Turkey said its first high-rise steel framed building was recently completed in Istanbul.

World steel production is predicted to top 1.2bn/t in 2006 according to the latest forecast by MEPS. This will represent an increase of 7.5% compared to 2005 and will be the fifth consecutive year steel production has increased by more than 5%.

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