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IP-Spain Analysis-A-1

Cracks of Spain's Steel Sector Fixed with TaeguTec Industrial Products

Spain's flagship construction industry went through an incredible boom from 2000 until the Lehman Crisis crashed the world and Spain's economies hard.

During Spain's pre-crisis boom of 2006-2007, business was great, buildings were being erected, people were getting rich, unemployment was low and the steel industry was pumping out steel rods used in the foundation of this industry that was, along with the transportation industry, comprising a fifth of Spain's GDP.

“When things were good, we were one of the strengths in Europe, we were producing like hell,” said TaeguTec representative in Spain and Portugal, Mr. Javier Azurmendi.

“Five years ago, we built more than all of Europe put together,” he added. “Steel production was crazy at one point; we were producing 20 million tons a year. Now we will be around half of it.”

Throughout Spain's construction heyday, 100 percent of Mr. Azurmendi’s sales were used in Spain but now, with the economical rise in other parts of the world, Spanish steelmakers are exporting more to Latin American, Africa, Asia, Chile, Australia and Singapore.

“We are not relying on Spanish and European industries, it's almost closed now so we have to find another way,” he said.

To help cut costs, many businesses in Spain are relying on carbide rolls produced on the far tip of the Eurasian continent.

What TaeguTec offers is no surprise, a product that constantly helps in the production of rebars and other products used in the steel industry.

“In a modern mill, you don't want surprises,” Mr. Azurmendi said. “A crack is a bad surprise and offsets the production schedule. So that is why we are trying to minimize these unexpected occurrences with TaeguTec rolls.”

TaeguTec’s composite rolls eliminate slippage even under high rolling torque and low rolling speed while offering an optimal design that caters to every requirement.

Their block roll types come in several grades with high crack-resistance, anti-oxidation and just as important, excellent toughness.

Both these products are essential in the fabrication of corrugated and smooth rods used by companies like Spain's Nervacero who noted that their rebars were used in the renovation of the famed Cathedral of Barcelona Familia de Grande.

But not everything in Spain's construction sector is doom and gloom.

The Spanish commercial construction market recorded a combined annual growth rate of 1.51 percent last year and represents Spain's strongest performance within its construction industry.

IP-Spain Analysis-B-1

With tourism numbers continually performing strong, construction activities are expected to continue when the current stock of unsold space is used, the only issue is that once the political state of affairs in North Africa stabilizes and the security situation returns, tourists will most likely go back to the sandy beaches of North Africa's Mediterranean coast at a fraction of the cost of what is offered in Spain.

The World Steel Association's Short Range Outlook for 2013, forecasts that global apparent steel use will grow by 3.2 percent and reach a record high of 1,455 metric tons.

With the debt crisis in the euro zone weighing heavily on the economic activities of the countries in the region, apparent steel use in the European Union is expected to improve and steel demand should recover by 2.4 percent.

As for the Spanish construction industry, it is expected to be weakened by the Spanish government's austerity measures, which aims to bring the budget deficit in the country within the European Union 3 percent limit by 2013.

To help in those costs, Nervacero explained that TaeguTec offers his company good quality with a great reputation.

“This year, I am looking forward to it. I have tested them and they are good. The rolls are very good, at the moment I have problems with cracks, but rolls made by TaeguTec offer great performance, with less cracks than my current supplier.”

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TaeguTec is renowned for its specialist tungsten carbide cutting tools, tungsten powders, tungsten carbide rolls and industrial products. The specialist tooling engineers at TaeguTec are continually introducing innovative new methods of producing cutting tools for the metal cutting industry, to deliver some of the best cutting tool solutions to various market sectors such as the automotive, mold and die, aerospace and heavy industry sectors. For further information on TaeguTec products, please visit TaeguTec website www.taegutec.com

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