fieramilano Rho (Milano), 14 May 2019 – Slowing steel demand, compared to 2018 trends; regional market segmentation, fostered by tariffs and global protectionism and a climate of general uncertainty in the industry are challenging the Italian and the European steel industry, after two years – 2017-18 – of renewed optimism and good performance. To overcome current difficulties, strong cooperation within the value chain is needed, involving producers and distributors alike, in their respective areas of responsibility.
This was the gist of the opening address of the eighth edition of Made in Steel, the most influential steel industry Conference & Exhibition in Southern Europe, starting today and running until 16 May at fieramilano Rho (Milano), halls 22 and 24. The title of the trade show is “STEEL HUMAN – Sustainability and innovation”, hinting at some of the main topics what will be discussed during the three day conference.
«Knowledge, cross-contamination and cooperation have been part and parcel with Siderweb since the steel community was created. We should go back to what unites us within the value chain, rather than highlighting what divides us – said Emanuele Morandi, President and CEO of Made in Steel, in his opening remarks -. Business models are changing and nothing is still the same, but people should remain at the very heart» of the market and of the biennial event of the steel industry. Morandi highlighted that the trade show is more than ever open to the entire value chain: «Two years ago, during Made in Steel 2017, I said that I was ready to open the capital structure of Made in Steel to trade associations, as I reckon it is important to have shared opportunities for reflection. This is my heartfelt wish, which, I hope, will turn into real action» he added.
«The decision to take Made in Steel to Milan (earlier editions were organised in Brescia, ndr) was not taken lightly. It was an important challenge that would give the event a marked international dimension. The event organisers chose to grow and to evolve: a challenge that Made in Steel won and is still winning – remarked Fabrizio Curci, CEO of Fiera Milano -. The success of the trade show is also the result of the format which is very different from other similar events: a formula which foster dialogue among companies, a highly appreciated feature in the our industry».
«The Region is willing to support you with the measures you need, to help the industry overcome the challenges coming from globalisation, to remain “human” in the new markets – said Alessandro Mattinzoli, councilor for Economic Development for the Lombardy Region -.Politics must be engaged in active listening, evolve and sit at the discussion tables with the general public and the world of business».
THE STEEL VALUE CHAIN – Representatives of the steel value chain echoed the call for closer cooperation in order to meet the challenges of the steel industry.
«Future, global and geo-political challenges call for a more comprehensive approach, in order to overcome together the difficulties deriving from the economic conjuncture – said Riccardo Benso, President of Assofermet -.I am thinking about the “trade war” which is affecting our markets. Tackling problems together will be really exciting».
«The value chain approach will help us leave this event stronger and more united, because things keep changing in our world (new plants, the need to reduce costs…). But at the end of the day, it is still people who steer the wheel» said Alessandro Banzato, President of Federacciai.
PRODUCERS AND DISTRIBUTORS – The afternoon conference “Steel vision: a global perspective”, hosted key players of the manufacturing and distribution value chain.
Among the speakers Matthieu Jehl, CEO of ArcelorMittal Italia: «In 2019 Taranto will be producing 5 million tons» he remarked. «After six months, we can start talking about changes in health, safety and environment related issues which are at the very heart of our project for Taranto and for Italy. We are seeing the first signs of such a change: the mineral parks confinement project is a good example of the 69 additional projects aimed at the protection of the environment. As to production, most of the plants are back into operational mode».
Fernando Espada, President of Eurometal, reported the view of steel distributors: «The EU should review its Safeguard measures – he said -. quotas for the automotive hot-dip-galvanized products, for example, were used up in just three months; other quotas will never be used. We know Turkey is selling unprecedented amounts of plates to EU countries, thus causing distortion to the market».
MADE IN STEEL IN FIGURES – More exhibitors, a larger exhibition area and more foreign businesses are among the main features of the eighth edition of Made in Steel. At 12:00, on the first day of the trade show, total attendance was up by 7,7% compared to the previous edition in 2017.