Austria’s steel production rebounds in March, flat on-year

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

Output amounted to 680,408 tonnes, up by 13.4% from February but almost flat year-on-year, Kallanish notes. Austria remained in 21st place in the ranking of top ten global steel producers in March, worldsteel data show.

In January-February, the country produced 1.89 million tonnes of steel, up 0.7% on-year.

Overall EU output in March decreased by 13.4% on-year to 11.6mt. In the first quarter, steel production was 7.5% less on-year versus January-March 2023 at almost 33mt.

In April, Austria’s largest steelmaker, voestalpine, has 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 (see Kallanish passim).

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