Acciaierie d’Italia’s crude steel output seen falling amid low demand, high costs

The overall production of crude steel by the Italian producer Acciaierie d’Italia is expected to be around 3.5-3.8 million mt in 2022, sources told S&P Global Commodity Insights Oct. 12, reflecting a drop from 4.1 million mt in 2021.

According to sources, the drop in output was attributed to low demand and high energy costs, with Acciaierie d’Italia continuing to work at low-capacity utilization rates owing to its only two blast furnaces, BF1 and BF4, running after BF2 was idled in July.

The company was producing 10,000 mt/day of pig iron from the blast furnace No. 4 and blast furnace No. 1, compared with 15,000 mt/day previously, the source said.

Acciaierie d’Italia’s facility in Taranto has three 2 million mt/year working blast furnaces, namely blast furnaces No. 1, No. 2 and No. 4. Its blast furnace No. 5 with 3.5 million mt/year capacity and blast furnace No. 3 with 2 million mt/year of capacity were idled in 2015 and 1994, respectively, and are scheduled to be dismantled.

Union sources also noted that Acciaierie d’Italia has confirmed that it had produced 4.1 million mt of crude steel in 2021, posting a turnover of Eur3.4 billion ($3.7 billion) after Eur1.6 billion in 2020.

Acciaierie d’Italia declined to comment when contacted by S&P Global Commodity Insights.

“It is not clear yet the financial situation for this year, we also have to wait and see what the new Italian government has planned for Acciaierie d’Italia,” a union source said.

“The last government confirmed Eur2 billion, of which Eur1 billion was for the new DRI and Eur1 billion was working capital funds, now we are waiting for this money,” the source added.

At the end of September, the government in Italy was changed following national elections, with Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy, a right-wing party, winning an absolute majority in the parliament, replacing Mario Draghi as Prime Minister.

According to the political party’s manifesto, Meloni will establish a crisis unit on energy and will try to help push for recovery in the infrastructure and automotive industries.

South European hot rolled coils prices have fallen Eur136/mt since the beginning of 2022 to Eur700/mt EXW Italy Oct. 11, down Eur10 from the previous day, data from Platts, part of S&P Global showed, with tradable levels continuing to fall as European mills move increasingly toward offering on a discounted delivered basis.

— Annalisa Villa