Steel exports from Italy, the European Union’s second-biggest producer after Germany, rose 13.6 percent year-on-year to 10.529 million tonnes in the first seven months of 2011, but lagged behind imports growth, industry body Federacciai said.

Italy’s export-focused steel industry has come under increasing pressure from non-EU competitors in the past few years.

Steel imports, mostly coming from outside the EU, jumped 15.3 percent to 11.692 million tons in the January-June period, according to data published on Federacciai’s website. (

Italy’s steel exports to its main markets in other EU countries jumped 24.2 percent to 7.695 million tonnes in the first seven months of 2011, while imports from the EU rose 2.9 percent to 5.457 million tons.

In trade with countries outside the 27-nation bloc, Italy’s steel exports fell 7.7 percent to 2.835 million tons in the seven months, while imports surged 28.7 percent to 6.235 million tons, the data showed.

Italy produced 17.310 million tonns of steel in the January-June period.

In the first eight months of 2011, exports to countries outside the EU fell 5.4 percent to 3.171 million tons, while imports jumped 24.4 percent to 6.756 million tons, Federacciai said without giving EU figures for the January-August period. (Reuters)