Austria’s steel production declines in April

Austria’s steelmakers decreased crude steel production in April compared with the previous month, according to worldsteel data.

Output amounted to 633,000 tonnes, down by 8.4% from March and 2.8% less year-on-year, Kallanish notes. Austria remains in 21st place in the ranking of top ten global steel producers, worldsteel data show.

In January-April, the country produced 2.53 million tonnes of steel, up 2% on-year.

Overall EU output in April decreased by 0.7% y-o-y to 11.3mt. In the first four months of the year, steel production was 0.6% less on-year versus January-April 2023 at almost 44.4mt.

In May, Austria’s largest steelmaker, voestalpine, together with Mercedes-Benz and TSR Recycling, will form a joint project to ensure the technical feasibility of processng post-consumer scrap (old scrap) into high-quality scrap that can be used to produce high-quality steel grades for the automotive industry (see Kallanish passim).

Earlier, voestalpine launched production of what it says is the world’s first high-quality “greentec” wire rod from hydrogen-reduced pure iron and scrap at its site in Donawitz. It has the goal of researching the use of hydrogen to reduce fine iron ore. In the future, the resulting hot sponge iron could be melted down in an electric arc furnace or used to produce hot-briquetted iron.

Earlier, the steelmaker placed an order with Primetals Technologies for an 850,000 tonnes/year capacity electric arc furnace to be implemented at its site in Linz. Startup is scheduled for 2027. An EAF of the same capacity, supplied by Danieli, is planned in the same timeframe for Donawitz.

In 2023, Austria’s commerce chamber, Wirtschaftskammer Österreich (WKO), expressed concern over the crash in demand and orders for commodities in the country (see Kallanish passim). WKO saw orders declining by as much as 30%, with no relief in sight.

Svetoslav Abrossimov Bulgaria