The 1st UK Steel Forum took place in London at the iconic Ironmongers’ Hall, with links to the iron trade for over 700 years. UK-based International Steel Statistics Bureau Commercial Manager Mr Steve Andrews said that “The UK steel industry is set to produce at a record low this year, its lowest since World War II, and it’s hard to say if 2023 will see an upturn. Output is set to fall to below 7 million tonnes of crude steel in 2022, from 7.2 million tonnes in 2021 and 7 million tonnes in 2020 when it suffered a COVID-19-related markets slump.”Mr Andrews said “In the UK, the second half of the year will be subdued in terms of market demand, particularly in the automotive sector, while rampant inflation will have a knock-on effect on consumer confidence and spending.”Mr Andrews added “UK steel production has been falling for decades. In 2000 UK production was 15 million tonnes and now it’s half that level. UK lost some capacity around six years ago on Teesside, with the closure of the Sahaviriya Steel Industries UK steel slab plant.”Other factors seen impacting the health of the UK steel sector this year are the increasing energy costs which have more than offset the benefits of lower raw material costs, a large disparity between prices in Asia and Europe and higher interest rates threatening mortgage availability. ISSB figures show that in 2020 it cost just over GBP 400, including electricity and other costs, to produce a metric ton of long steel via an electric arc furnace in the UK, and in August 2022 it cost around GBP790. Now, even with the energy price cap introduced on 21 September by the UK government for the October 2022-March 2023 period it will cost around GBP 970, which is currently above average market prices for long products in Northern Europe.UK Steel Forum was co-organized by EUROMETAL and the 5 trade associations BCSA, BIRFA, ISTA, NASS and UK Steel brought together 85 participants.