Ancofer Stahlhandel in Mülheim an der Ruhr successfully uses the IT solution from Kaltenbach.Solutions in the sheet metal warehouse in the area of order control. With the help of the “Order Manager” software, the processing status of orders becomes transparent across the entire process chain. This increases efficiency, shortens delivery times, improves delivery reliability and reduces manual effort. Ancofer is also striving to work as paper-free as possible in the future.
For several months now, Ancofer Stahlhandel has been using Kaltenbach.Solutions’ “Order Manager” for the daily planning and control of trade orders in the sheet metal warehouse. The software module displays the processing status of the trade orders in real time and thus facilitates forward-looking processing. The order data from the SAP system is transferred automatically. Employees have access to relevant information via their handhelds and rarely have to ask for it. This results in a daily time saving in work preparation of around 30%.
Ancofer Stahlhandel GmbH is a specialist for heavy plate and flame-cut parts and a subsidiary of the heavy plate producer Dillinger. It covers a wide range of grades and dimensions and, together with its sister companies Jebens GmbH in Stuttgart and AncoferWaldram Steelplates in the Netherlands, has a stock of more than 150,000 tons of heavy plate. Managing Director Joost van Dijk and Shift Manager Philipp Maihorn were convinced by the rapid introduction of Kaltenbach.Solutions’ “Order Manager”, its intuitive operation, and its adaptability to the specific needs of the steel trade.
Cumulative steel demand for the energy transition between 2022 and 2050 will be almost 5 billion tonnes, accounting for 75% of total material requirement. This compares to 8 billion of annual global coal demand today, the Energy Transitions Commission (ETC) points out in a new report seen by Kallanish.
The average annual steel requirement of 170 million tonnes would still account for less than 10% of today’s global steel production of about 1.9 billion t/year. This would correspond to approximately a doubling from current levels of steel demand from the fossil fuel industry of 70-80m t/y, ETC says.
In ETC’s baseline decarbonisation scenario, steel and aluminium demand will grow significantly to 2030, but primarily because of growth in non-energy related demands, with greater urbanisation and industrialisation driving demand for steel in lower-income countries.
Steel and aluminium supply will grow broadly in line with increased demand to 2030, with a large and growing percentage of supply coming from secondary, recycled material – reflecting high existing end-of-life recycling rates for both materials.
Improving technology performance and falling materials intensity could see cumulative energy transition-related steel demand fall 25% to 3.7 billion tonnes, predominantly as a result of reduced requirements in wind and solar installations. Combining efficiency and recycling could see this demand fall to 3.4 billion t.
However, long technology lifetimes – for example, 30 years for a solar or wind farm – mean that volumes of recycled steel supply from clean energy technologies would remain low even in 2050 – but with strong potential in subsequent years.
For wind turbines, over 90% of total material requirements are steel and concrete. Steel requirement is projected to fall from 140 tonnes/MW to 110t/MW by 2050 for gearbox turbines, and from 400 t/MW to 320 t/MW for direct-drive turbines. Nuclear power is meanwhile seen needing 72 t/MW in 2050 versus 90 t/MW today, ETC says.
An important factor for the energy transition will be ensuring financing activities reflect the necessary pathway to a net-zero economy, recognising the critical need for much greater investment in mining for energy transition metals. This entails developing an understanding of what transition pathways for the mining and aluminium/steel sectors should look like and what this means for investment along this transition, ETC concludes.
Adam Smith Poland
ResponsibleSteel has awarded ArcelorMittal Spain a certification for developing high-quality standards for steel production at its Zaragoza plant, Kallanish learns from the steelmaker. The unit produces different types of components with special characteristics using high‑quality laser‑welded steel blanks for the automotive sector.
“This achievement has given us great satisfaction since we were selected as the pilot plant among all the European subsidiaries of the Tailored Blanks division, and after all the effort deployed, we have been able to fulfil all the required standards,” says ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks Zaragoza director of operations Tomás Ramos.
The certification process included an independent audit by Norwegian company Det Norske Veritas (DNV) over a one-year period.
The plant becomes the fifth ArcelorMittal facility in Spain to have ResponsibleSteel certification.
This certification was created in 2019 and relies on 12 environmental, social and governance criteria. It focuses not only on decarbonisation processes but also on respect for human rights, labour rights, and local communities, as well as a larger spectrum of ESG principles.
Todor Kirkov Bulgaria
Governments must play a critical role in providing financing for the technological transformation of the steel industry, said speakers at the Open Forum-Climate Action conference hosted by worldsteel in Antwerp last week.
“We shied away from heavy industries in the last two decades, but are now coming back to segments like cement or fertilisers because of climate change,” said Alfredo Bano Leal of Asia Development Bank.
“Hopefully, we will find enough banks, or else we would need to rely on governments,” said Gabriel de Laval, head of hydrogen at Credit Agricole. He underlined how green steel is pushing the boundaries, as “there is no bigger object of investment than a greenfield green steel mill”.
In line with other speakers, the moderator of the panel, Soo Jung Kim, worldsteel head of sustainability communications, also cautioned that governments are an essential enabler of major tech investments.
Elizabeth Dykstra-McCarthy of the Climate Investment Funds noted that her organisation’s funds are normally supporting governments. She made the point that “we believe developing countries will be key to the energy transition” given their potential for solar and wind power parks.
That view was challenged by Kwasi Ampofo, head of metals and mining at Bloomberg New Energy Finance (NEF). “Emerging countries do not have the economies of scale as producers and consumers to attract investors,” Kallanish heard him say at the event. They “will be in line later in the next wave of investment,” he added.
He noted the steel industry was an early mover in decarbonisation, but other materials have caught up, like aluminium, cement, or plastics. However, “steel is still expected to decarbonise faster that its peers,” he observed.
In his presentation, Ampofo compared the costs of low-emission steelmaking now with 2050, by which point many mills pledge to be net-zero. According to figures by BloombergNEF, the costs per tonne of hydrogen-based steelmaking are between $658 in China and $889 in Germany and approximately in the USA. By 2050, these could sink to between $432 and $525 respectively.
Christian Koehl Germany
At the beginning of the assessment week, local producers were raising offers to 2,750 zloty ($635) per tonne delivered (about 2,720-2,730 zloty per tonne ex-works), up from 2,700 zloty per tonne delivered sought at the beginning of this month.
Those prices were largely accepted in deals, with transactions heard within the range of 2,700-2,730 zloty per tonne ex-works earlier in the assessment week.
In the second half of the week, prices increased further, with transactions reported at 2,750-2,770 zloty per tonne ex-works, but only for minor quantities.
As a result, Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel reinforcing bar (rebar), domestic, exw Poland, was 2,700-2,770 zloty per tonne on Friday, up by 80-120 zloty per tonne from 2,620-2,650 per tonne on September 8.
Market sources expected that, in the week to start September 18, steel rebar prices in Poland would increase further, still driven by the improving construction activity. Besides, mills were pushing for higher prices, citing rises in rolling costs.
Notably, increased scrap prices in the monthly contracts for September were driving rebar prices upward, according to mill sources. These, combined with the positive expectations for rising demand by the construction sector in the last quarter of the year, were expected to support higher rebar prices in the near term, market sources said.
End-user demand for rebar was likely to improve in October due to an expected recovery in the residential construction sub-sector in Poland, they added.
In July, the Polish government launched a support program for the nation’s first-time homebuyers, offering housing loans with a fixed 2% interest rate over 10 years, with the difference to the actual interest rate covered by the state.
The program, available to young people for their first house or apartment purchase, was intended to stimulate residential construction, according to market sources.
According to one such source, one Polish mill has pushed rebar offers to 2,920 zloty per tonne delivered, but no deals have been concluded at that level yet.
Currency fluctuations and the strengthening of the euro against the Polish zloty also supported a domestic price rise, making imports from the EU less attractive.
The Polish currency was trading at 4.63 zloty to €1 on September 15 compared with 4.60 zloty to €1 on September 8, according to exchange rate website Oanda.com. At the beginning of the month, on September 1, the rate was 4.47 zloty to €1.
Rebar offers from Hungary and Germany to Poland were heard around €605-610 per tonne delivered.
A similar trend was observed in the wire rod market in Poland, with prices rebounding from the low levels seen a week earlier.
Offers from two local mills were reported in the week to September 15 about 2,850-2,950 zloty per tonne, while transactions were heard at 2,750-2,850 zloty per tonne delivered.
Several sources, however, pointed out that, by the end of the assessment week, a price of 2,750 zloty per tonne delivered was no longer available.
As a result, Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel wire rod (drawing quality), domestic, delivered Poland, increased to 2,750-2,850 zloty per tonne, up by 100 zloty per tonne from 2,650-2,750 zloty per tonne seven days before.
Apparent demand for wire rod in the country was not booming, but some limited restocking supported price rises.
“Buyers have not been booking [wire rod] for stock for months, and there is a need to restock across some grades and sizes,” an industry source told Fastmarkets.
Meanwhile, import wire rod offers to Poland were also trending higher.
One Italian supplier was offering mesh-quality wire rod at €600-610 ($642-652) per tonne delivered, and drawing-quality wire rod at €620 per tonne delivered, up by about €10-20 per tonne compared with early September. Those prices, however, were considered too high by Polish buyers, given the high euro-zloty exchange rate.
One Ukrainian supplier was offering mesh-quality wire rod to Poland about €590 per tonne ex-stock.
Persistently slow demand from end-user sectors and a lack of clarity regarding the volumes of HRC imports expected to enter the EU market as of October 1, were limiting trading, Fastmarkets understands.
Buyer estimates of the tradable values for HRC in Northern Europe came in at €630-640 ($674-684) per tonne ex-works on Friday.
Most steel mills in the region could still offer October/November-delivery coil, however, which suggests that orders have been weak.
In general, offers for October/November-delivery coil in the region were reported at €640-670 per tonne ex-works, although buyers said the upper end of the range was “totally unworkable.”
Fastmarkets calculated its daily steel HRC index domestic, exw Northern Europe, at €634.88 per tonne on September 15, down by €6.37 per tonne from €641.25 per tonne on Thursday.
The index was down by €9.91 per tonne week on week and by €9.70 per tonne month on month.
The Italian market, meanwhile, was also quiet, with trading activity at close to non-existent over the past few weeks.
Fastmarkets’ calculation of its daily steel HRC index domestic, exw Italy, meanwhile, was €626.00 per tonne on September 15, down by just €2.33 per tonne from €628.33 per tonne on Thursday.
The Italian index was down by €7.33 per tonne week on week and by €7.68 per tonne month on month.
Market participants told Fastmarkets that local producers had short order books and were ready to provide discounts on big volumes. Buyers, however, were not chasing for tonnages and preferred to postpone bookings for October, awaiting greater clarity on EU import quotas.
“We expect Q4 quotas for HRC [under the ‘other countries’ category] to be filled in just a few days after opening,” a producer in Italy said.
While firm offers were rare in Italy, sources told Fastmarkets that October- and November-delivery HRC was available from domestic producers at €630-640 per tonne EXW.
Buyer price ideas came in at around €620-630 per tonne EXW but, in general, there was little interest in making any bookings.
Asian suppliers have recently started offering January-delivery coil to Europe, Fastmarkets understands, with offers coming in at €610-615 per tonne CFR from Japan and Korea for January arrival – although that level was not considered workable by buyers in Italy.
“[Import offers for HRC] are just €10 [per tonne] lower than those from local mills and some Italian mills can still offer October delivery [for HRC], so imports are not really workable,” a trading source in Italy said.
Lower offers did come in from Taiwan and Vietnam this week, sources said, at around €585-590 per tonne CFR for January arrival. But long lead times, safeguard-related risks and the relatively small gap to domestic prices in Italy were seen as the major stumbling blocks for import bookings at the moment, sources told Fastmarkets.
“We are abstaining from import bookings due to quota problems with [some] ‘other countries’ origins,” a second trader in Italy said.
Published by: Julia Bolotova