LONDON, May 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The outbreak of COVID-19 has developed into an ongoing global pandemic, with epicentres shifting from China to Europe and North America.
As the number of cases and deaths worldwide continue to grow, many of us are now living under some form of lockdown. Looking beyond the human tragedy, global economies and all types of industrial activities have been severely impacted, and metallic wire and cable industry is no exception.
The global wire and cable market is in turmoil, driven by a pronounced weakness across all cable end-use sectors. With automotive manufacturers temporarily shutting plants, construction projects delayed, and industrial activities grinding to a halt, the collapse in cable demand is not limited to any single region, but widespread. Indeed, CRU forecasts total global cable demand to contract sharply this year, at a rate only previously seen during the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).
CRU have downgraded our cable consumption forecasts across all regions and over the entire forecast horizon. The change primarily reflects the virus-induced slowdown in manufacturing and construction activity. Looking at specific regions, 'Rest of the World' and Europe have seen the largest percentage downgrades, with 2020 demand being cut to near double-digit declines.
COVID-19 will not equally impact all cable end-use sectors. CRU expects automotive demand to be the most severely hit, with consumer demand remaining weak over the medium term. Construction and industrial sectors are expected to follow, with the utility sector, expected to be the most protected sector. As a result, LVE cable demand will be the most affected, accounting for nearly half of the total 2020-2024 downgrade.
Looking forward, it is important to highlight that we do anticipate a recovery in world total cable demand next year in our base case. However, we do not expect cable demand to reach 2019's level until 2023, in terms of conductor tonnes.
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