Britain’s battered metal business is below rising stress after new information revealed a plunge in demand when Covid hit.
Steelmakers had been hammered when producers and constructing websites shut down early within the pandemic, which despatched UK demand for the steel down 23pc to six.4m tonnes within the first three quarters. Early indications counsel there was solely a weak restoration within the ultimate three months of the yr.
A white paper setting out authorities plans for the power business additionally failed to deal with pleas from metal corporations for reform of energy costs. British producers pay much more for electrical energy than rivals in Europe, making it arduous to compete.
Based on evaluation by business affiliation UK Metal, producers in Britain pay 62pc extra for power than steelmakers in Germany and 80pc greater than these in France.
The commerce physique, which represents corporations using 32,000 workers in Britain, mentioned the white paper was a missed alternative after years of requires motion.