STEEL production in the UK remained at a “virtual standstill” last year, according to a report.
Figures by UK Steel, a division of EEF, the manufacturers’ group, showed output was just 15 higher in 2012 than it had been in 2011 – equal to average production of 184,264 tonnes per week against 182,269 tonnes per week.
The report blamed continuing economic stagnation, a fall in automotive production in Europe and the low level of construction in the UK.
Andy Tuscher, region director for the EEF, said: “This virtual standstill position is despite the export-oriented plant in Teesside re-starting last spring under new ownership and leaves UK steel output still around 30% below 2008/9 levels.
“Two key factors are the continuing low level of UK construction output, which contributed to the closure of the Thamesteel plant last January and, more recently, the slowdown in European automotive production. Government needs to act more urgently in stimulating shovel-ready investment in the UK’s infrastructure and other construction activities.