No Rebound in Steel Sector Before 2012

Salzgitter boss says the current upturn will only last until end of year

The embattled steel sector will not recover to pre-crisis levels until 2012, the head of Salzgitter, Germany's second-biggest steel firm, was quoted as saying on Oct. 8.

"It is unlikely that the steel sector will reach the level it was at in 2007 before 2012," Wolfgang Lesse told the Financial Times Deutschland in an interview.

The crisis being structural, it is likely to last longer than it might otherwise have done, he said. "At the moment, we are experiencing only a small interim upturn, which in my opinion will only last until approximately the end of the year," he added.

The global steel sector, in free fall since the end of 2008, has enjoyed a slight bounce in recent months due to demand from China, raising hopes that the sector could rebound.

But Lesse said that clients were merely restocking and that this would not suffice to push prices up.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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