Commission adjusts imports surveillance rules for steel – commencing 11th July

The EU steel import surveillance takes the form of automatic import licencing. This means that importers need to notify the relevant authorities in EU Member States of their intention to import steel products into the EU. They will receive a document confirming that surveillance rules have been respected before an import operation can happen. This rule applies today to all but the smallest transactions, below 2.5 tons.

To make the administration of the system more operational, the Commission will now increase the exemption threshold for certain products from 2.5 to 5 tons. This will reduce the number of transactions falling under surveillance and remove unnecessary constraints on importers that make many relatively small transactions and often operate based on a just-in-time system. Most imported steel products, usually traded in high volumes, will remain under surveillance.

The Commission will also encourage national authorities to accept handling the procedure in a paperless way.

The Commission is working in parallel on a draft interpretative notice to respond to requests for clarification received from stakeholders and ensure the uniform interpretation of existing surveillance rules.


An import surveillance system can be introduced when imports threaten to cause injury to EU producers. The objective is to collect statistical data on the volumes and price level of certain steel imports before the goods are actually imported, in order to better monitor market developments. The current system has been operational since May 2016. The EU had a similar scheme in place also between 2002 and 2012.

Source and further information: European Commission

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Yorkshire & Humber Exports rise by more than a Fifth

The value of goods exported by companies in Yorkshire and the Humber has risen by more than a fifth in the first three months of 2017, according to the latest figures.

Figures from HM Revenue & Customs have revealed that the value of exported goods by companies in Yorkshire and the Humber rose by 21 per cent in the first three months of 2017 when compared to the same period in 2016.

Exports from Yorkshire and the Humber companies reached £3.9bn, up from £3.2bn in the same period last year, an increase of 21 per cent.

EU exports accounted for 56 per cent of the total value, while exports to North America accounted for 16 per cent and Asia and Oceania reached 13 per cent.

Machinery and transport exports made the most significant contribution accounting for 29 per cent of the total value and chemicals accounted for 23 per cent.

The number of Yorkshire and Humber exporters also rose from 8,959 in the first quarter of 2016 to 9,365 in the first three months of 2017.

Mike Thornton, head of manufacturing at RSM, said: “The decrease in the value of the pound since last year’s referendum has helped exporters and these figures show that the region’s businesses have been making the most of this.

“Looking ahead, however, the outlook for exporters is less clear.

“Last week’s election result has caused further turbulence in the political climate and businesses will no doubt be hoping for some early clarity on the UK’s future trading relationships with Europe once the Brexit negotiations start in earnest.”

Original Article: Joshua Hammond, Insider Media, 14th June 2017

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Doncaster Sheffield Airport regains ‘fastest-growing’ Title

Airport regains ‘fastest-growing’ titleDoncaster Sheffield Airport has regained the title of fastest growing UK airport with over a million passengers, according to new figures.

Figures from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) show that airport has experienced a 43.1 per cent growth and rolling passenger numbers of 1.3 million between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017.

The airport works with airlines including Thomson, WizzAir and Flybe.

Chris Harcombe, head of aviation development at Doncaster Sheffield Airport, said: “This is fantastic news and we are thrilled to once again have the status of the fastest growing airport, with over 1m passengers, in the country. It is great to see so many people supporting our development by choosing to fly local.

“Passengers have over 40 routes on offer to them from our airport and access to the airport is now so easy thanks to the motorway link road opening.

“Early last year we announced a new partnership with Flybe which has brought more low cost flights to the airport and provided access to European hubs including Amsterdam, Berlin, Dublin and Paris and popular leisure routes including Alicante, Malaga, Faro and Palma.

He added: “We are extremely proud of the service we offer at Doncaster Sheffield Airport and have invested in our terminal, in our products and in our team to ensure that we can continue to offer high standards of customer service.

“We are continuing our work with partners from across the region to shout about Doncaster Sheffield Airport, the ease of travel to reach us, the destinations you can get to from our Doncaster base and the quality service you can expect when you fly from here.”

Source: Joshua Hammond, Insider Media, 21st June 2017

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International Competitive Tender Documents – Uzbekistan


The latest International Competitive tenders made available via the Commercial Office at the British Embassy in Tashkent.

Mechanical Seals, tools and spare parts for a variety of sectors.

Tenders Uzbekistan 25.05.2017


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Yorkshire and Humberside has recorded the highest level of inward investment in two decades, according to new research.

The region attracted 98 foreign direct investment projects in 2016, more than in any year since 1997, the latest EY UK Attractiveness Survey has found.

A total of 25 different countries invested in projects in the region, the most of which originated in the US, which launched 30 projects. Germany invested in ten projects, France started nine and Austria, Ireland and the Netherlands each invested in five projects.

The 98 projects represented an increase of 24 per cent compared to 2015 and manufacturing projects led the surge in investment in the region in 2016, making up 57 per cent of all projects, followed by financial and business services which accounted for 15 per cent.

Suzanne Robinson, Yorkshire and Humber senior partner at EY, said: “The work that has taken place to position the whole of Yorkshire and Humberside as a strong investment location in the global marketplace is starting to pay off.

“These figures show that the international investment community has seen the potential in the region, with its access to the right skills, infrastructure and strong supply chain networks.

“Manufacturing in particular has seen strong growth in this region.”

She added: “This is not just from factories, the Yorkshire and Humber region attracted four headquarters, four logistics facilities, three testing centres and two training centres in 2016, demonstrating the strength and diversity of skills available in this region to foreign investors.

“However looking beyond manufacturing, the number of software projects in this region fell from six to two, and research and development  projects fell from five to just one, which clearly defines a need to focus more resources in these areas in the future.”

According to EY’s chief economist Mark Gregory, the impact of the Brexit vote and the Northern Powerhouse initiative were beginning to have an impact on investment.

“The research suggests that the EU referendum vote and its aftermath may be having an influence on global perceptions of the UK’s medium to long-term attractiveness,” Gregory said.

“Western European investors are twice as negative as Asian and North American investors.

“Decisions on the majority of investments made in 2016 would have been made up to three years ago, which helps to explain Yorkshire’s – and the wider UK’s – solid performance last year, but signs of a slowdown are on the horizon.”

Robinson added: “The concept of a Northern Powerhouse has undoubtedly helped to improve the overall attractiveness of the region.

“However, it will need to remain a key priority consistently for the medium term if we are to realise the full economic benefit from re-balancing the economy.”

“What is clear, is that the UK has a short window to act.

“On a positive note, across the North in particular we have a solid base to build from, with globally renowned strengths.

“A rapid response and clear strategy can help strengthen our position for inward investment from all parts of the globe.”

Source: Joshua Hammond, Business Insider, 23rd May 2017

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Production in construction up by 6.9% in euro area

February 2017 compared with January 2017 Production in construction up by 6.9% in euro area Up by 4.4% in EU28

In February 2017 compared with January 2017, seasonally adjusted production in the construction sector increased by 6.9% in the euro area (EA19) and by 4.4% in the EU28, according to first estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In January 2017, production in construction fell by 2.4% in the euro area and by 1.5% in the EU28.

In February 2017 compared with February 2016, production in construction increased by 7.1% in the euro area and by 5.2% in the EU28.

Monthly comparison by construction sector and by Member State

The increase of 6.9% in production in construction in the euro area in February 2017, compared with January 2017, is due to civil engineering rising by 10.1% and building construction by 6.2%.

In the EU28, the increase of 4.4% is due to civil engineering rising by 5.5% and building construction by 4.0%.

Among Member States for which data are available, the highest increases in production in construction were recorded in Slovenia (+25.7%), Belgium (+18.7%) and Germany (+13.6%), while the largest decreases were observed in Poland (-2.8%), Sweden (-1.8%), and the United Kingdom (-1.6%).

Annual comparison by construction sector and by Member State

The increase of 7.1% in production in construction in the euro area in February 2017, compared with February 2016, is due to civil engineering rising by 10.3% and building construction by 6.2%.

In the EU28, the increase of 5.2% is due to civil engineering rising by 5.6% and building construction by 4.8%.

Among Member States for which data are available, the highest increases in production in construction were recorded in Slovenia (+21.4%), Hungary (+15.1%), Sweden (+13.2%) and Germany (+11.6%), while the largest decreases were observed in Slovakia (-10.6%), the Czech Republic (-5.5%) and Poland (-5.1%).

For further information and tables see the full Eurostat News Release here

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Euro area and EU28 government deficit

Euro area and EU28 government deficit at 1.5% and 1.7% of GDP respectively.
Government debt at 89.2% and 83.5%

In 2016, the government deficit and debt of both the euro area (EA19) and the EU28 decreased in relative terms compared with 2015. In the euro area the government deficit to GDP ratio fell from 2.1% in 2015 to 1.5% in 2016, and in the EU28 from 2.4% to 1.7%. In the euro area the government debt to GDP ratio declined from 90.3% at the end of 2015 to 89.2% at the end of 2016, and in the EU28 from 84.9% to 83.5%.

In the release, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, is providing government deficit and debt data based on figures reported in the first 2017 notification by EU Member States for the years 2013-2016, for the application of the excessive deficit procedure (EDP). This notification is based on the ESA 2010 system of national accounts. This release also includes data on government expenditure and revenue.

In 2016, Luxembourg (+1.6%), Malta (+1.0%), Sweden (+0.9%), Germany (+0.8%), Greece (+0.7%), the Czech Republic (+0.6%), Cyprus and the Netherlands (both +0.4%), Estonia and Lithuania (both +0.3%) registered a government surplus, while Bulgaria and Latvia reported a government balance. The lowest government deficits as a percentage of GDP were recorded in Ireland (-0.6%), Croatia (-0.8%) and Denmark (-0.9%). Four Member States had deficits equal to or higher than 3% of GDP: Spain (-4.5%), France (-3.4%), Romania and the United Kingdom (both -3.0%).

At the end of 2016, the lowest ratios of government debt to GDP were recorded in Estonia (9.5%), Luxembourg (20.0%), Bulgaria (29.5%), the Czech Republic (37.2%), Romania (37.6%) and Denmark (37.8%). Sixteen Member States had government debt ratios higher than 60% of GDP, with the highest registered in Greece (179.0%), Italy (132.6%), Portugal (130.4%), Cyprus (107.8%) and Belgium (105.9%).

In 2016, government expenditure in the euro area was equivalent to 47.7% of GDP and government revenue to 46.2%. The figures for the EU28 were 46.6% and 44.9% respectively. In both zones, the government expenditure ratio decreased between 2015 and 2016, while the government revenue ratio decreased in the euro area and remained stable in the EU28.

For full tables and reservations on data reported see Eurostat’s News Release here

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Euro area annual inflation up to 1.9%

Euro area annual inflation is expected to be 1.9% in April 2017, up from 1.5% in March 2017, according to a flash estimate from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

Looking at the main components of euro area inflation, energy is expected to have the highest annual rate in April (7.5%, compared with 7.4% in March), followed by services (1.8%, compared with 1.0% in March), food, alcohol & tobacco (1.5%, compared with 1.8% in March) and non-energy industrial goods (0.3%, stable compared with March).

For full information and tables please visit the Eurostat update here

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Industrial Commodity Prices to Rise in 2017: World Bank


Oil prices to average $55 per barrel in 2017, rise next year

WASHINGTON, April 26, 2017— The World Bank is forecasting higher prices for industrial commodities, principally energy and metals, in 2017 and next year.

The World Bank in its April Commodity Markets Outlook is holding steady its crude oil price forecast for this year at $55 per barrel, increasing to an average of $60 per barrel in 2018. Rising oil prices, supported by production cutbacks by Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC states, will allow markets to gradually rebalance. These oil price forecasts are subject to downside risks should the rebound in the U.S. shale oil industry be greater than expected.

Prices for energy commodities, which also include natural gas and coal, are projected to jump 26 percent this year and 8 percent in 2018. In line with oil price forecasts, natural gas is anticipated to gain 15 percent this year, led by a jump in U.S. prices. Coal is seen climbing 6 percent in 2017, due to earlier supply restrictions in China, which consumes half the world’s coal output.

Prices for non-energy commodities, which include agriculture, fertilizers, and metals and minerals, are forecast to increase in 2017, the first rise in five years. Metals prices are projected to jump 16 percent this year due to strong demand, especially from China, and supply constraints, including mine disruptions in Chile, Indonesia and Peru.

Download the April Commodity Markets Outlook

Labor strikes and contractual disputes at large mines have contributed to higher copper prices. However, precious metals are expected to decline by 1 percent this year and 1 percent next year as benchmark interest rates rise and safe-haven buying ebbs.

Among the components of non-energy commodities, the agriculture price index as a whole is expected to remain stable this year, as declines in grains are expected to be offset by price rises for oils and meals and raw materials.

“Favorable conditions have pushed stocks-to-use ratios to 15-year highs for wheat, maize and rice,’” said John Baffes, Senior Economist and lead author of the Commodity Markets Outlook. “Assessments point to a surplus this year and next for global supplies of key grains.”

Beverages, which include coffee, cocoa, and tea prices, are forecast to drop more than 6 percent in 2017 due to greater-than-expected supply. Agricultural raw materials are projected to rise 4 percent. The end of the El Niño/La Niña cycle limits upside price risk for the 2017-2018 agricultural commodity forecasts.

The World Bank’s Commodity Markets Outlook provides detailed market analysis for major commodity groups, including energy, metals, agriculture, precious metals, and fertilizers. The report includes price forecasts to 2030 for 46 commodities and provides historical price data.

Source: World Bank
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DIT Webinar: Mining Industry in Uzbekistan, 3rd April, 2-3pm BST

The World Bank reports that Uzbekistan has made significant progress in the last two years in facilitating trade, protecting investors and reducing regulatory complexity.  On 17 March 2017, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has signed an agreement with the government of Uzbekistan to explore ways of increasing its investment activity in the country.

With skilled local manpower and developed infrastructure the country offers good investment potential particularly in the mining sector. Uzbekistan possesses significant mineral deposits including gold, uranium, copper, potash and phosphates.

This 60-minute webinar is designed to assist the UK companies considering business opportunities in Uzbekistan’s Gold mining, Coal energy, Rare earth metals and Potash mining and fertilizers production sectors by:

• Raising awareness about the economic & political situation and the opportunities in the Uzbekistan market.

• Providing updated information on the structure of the development of the mining sector in Uzbekistan

• Providing a platform for UK companies to put questions directly to the speakers.


  • Mr. Christopher Allan, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Republic of Uzbekistan
  • Mr. Jan Lewis, Director at the Wardell Armstrong

To join the Webinar, please complete the registration form HERE

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