Ene 27

European car sales down again in January but revival expected

The number of new passenger car registrations in the EU decreased by 4.62% year-on-year in January 2019, making it the fifth consecutive month of decline, the European Automotive Manufacturers Assn (ACEA) said on Friday February 15.

New car sales in Europe totaled 1,195,665 units in January 2019, compared with 1,253,596 vehicles sold in the corresponding month of 2018.

«The European passenger car market saw a slow start to the year, posting a 4.6% decline compared with one year ago,» ACEA said. «Nevertheless, with nearly 1.2 million units registered in total, this still represents the second-highest January volume on record since 2009.»

Car production was affected by the introduction of emissions testing under the new Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) on September 1 last year, in anticipation of which there had been an exceptional surge in registrations over the summer.

As a result, demand for new cars fell in most EU countries in the closing months of 2018 and this continued in January. This negative trend, however, was expected to be short-lived and the market should be back to normal in the first quarter, according to market sources.

In the meantime, the European Commission (EC) has imposed definitive safeguard measures on a list of imported steel products, in the form of tariff rates and a range of quotas that are partly annual and country-specific and partly quarterly and global. These came into effect on February 2.

The EC split the hot-dipped galvanized (HDG) coil product category into two sub-categories, 4a and 4b, with material in the latter group being used mainly by the automotive sector.

Market sources believed that this change was made in response to a request from European carmakers, which voiced their concerns that the quotas proposed in January would injure the automotive industry.

But the quotas set for HDG were likely to result in lower import volumes of the material for both the automotive sector and other end-users, according to market sources. Buyers will probably have to source more material from domestic suppliers, which will allow European mills to increase their domestic HDG prices

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for domestic HDG in Northern Europe was unchanged at €610-630 ($688-711) per tonne ex-works on February 13.

The assessment reflected the «achievable» price in the market, while mills in the region were targeting higher prices in light of the definitive decision in the safeguard case.

On average, about 900 kg of steel is used in each car, according to the World Steel Association (Worldsteel). weakened recently because buyers had already restocked, sources said.

Translate »