UK’s Steel Exports to EU Shrink after Brexit
The Mirror reported that according to trade body UK Steel data, British steel exports to the EU have plunged by a third to just under 420,000 tonnes in the first three months of 2021, as against quarterly average of 630,000 tonnes in 2015-2017, as the British steel sector grappled with Brexit realities. UK’s steel exports, excluding tubes, wire and cold finished bars, showed a 38% drop in the first three months of 2021 as compared with the 2015-2017 average. UK Steel director-general Mr Gareth Stace said “This is a challenging time for the UK steel sector as it does its utmost to adapt to challenging new trading conditions and recover from the impacts of Covid-19. This first quarter of export data demonstrates quite how challenging market conditions are for the sector at this time and the new barriers now in place between us and our largest export market. We are confident that some of these export difficulties will lessen as time goes on, but unfortunately many will be a permanent feature of our new trading relationship with the EU.”
Mr Stace called on the Government to take all possible steps to ensure that goods moving into Europe are able to move to customers swiftly and seamlessly. He demanded clarity around the tariffs and quotas our steelmakers face when exporting into Northern Ireland, which remains in a customs no-man's-land at the present time.”
He added “We must find a resolution to the movement of steel across the Irish Sea as quickly as possible.”
Under Mr Boris Johnson’s deal, formally known as Trade and Cooperation Agreement, UK exports of steel are subject to quotas and possible tariffs as a result of Brussels measures. British steel exporters used an average of just 59% of their quotas in the first quarter.