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Steel market set for 28 pc growth


GROWTH in the UK market for structural steel is set to easily outstrip that of concrete, independent market analysts at MBD claimed.

The UK steel market is forecast to experience 28 per cent real term growth until 2009, taking the overall market for structural steel products to well over the 2 million tonne mark.

Domestic output will account for 2.1 million tonnes by 2009, while imports will only amount to 20,000 tonnes.

Demand will mostly be stimulated by the anticipated increase in construction output, with the building sector continuing to account for over 90 per cent of sales.

The growth in the market for concrete and concrete products is likely to be less marked, with MBD forecasting a 12 per cent real term grow th by 2009.

The majority of sales will continue to be ready-mix products, even though the market for these is expected to decline in 2006 and 2007 and have overall growth of only 1 per cent.

Sales of concrete roof tiles are likely to fall by 12 per cent thanks to growing demand for slate and clay tiles, while EU legislation and rising fuel costs are likely to cause price rises in the cement market. Nevertheless, growth of 13 per cent by 2009 is forecast.

The biggest increase is likely to be in sales of bricks, with a forecast growth of 28 per cent, and blocks, with an anticipated 27 per cent increase.