Changing society, geopolitics redefine European steel

Geopolitical changes are impacting the steel sector, with volatility increasing, and Europe needs to accommodate the new reality affecting supply chains, according to Tata Steel Europe distribution marketing manager Jaap Jan Aardenburg.

“China produces 50% of global steel production and develops itself with self confidence and ambitions,” he noted at the Eurometal regional meeting Nordics in Copenhagen last week attended by Kallanish. “When something is happening in China, it has an immediate effect on Europe in accordance with steel shipments and raw material prices.”

Europe is leading in climate change action, but it is moving to a post-industrial and aging society, which is using less steel, he added.

According to him, European countries must redefine and value their strength, which also concerns supply chains and how to adopt to global changes. “Europe is now facing the war in Ukraine, high inflation and energy costs. However, it must continue to invest in the green transition. The automotive sector is already testing the fossil-free steel options and also the construction market, because this is the future,” Aardenburg concluded.

“The industry and, in particular, our customers are ready to buy green steel,” said SSAB managing director Jan Meier. “In every industry you will find bold pioneers who will want to take the lead and others that will follow them, despite the cost of the green transition.”

“The European automotive and construction sector are relying more and more on fossil-free production,” noted Lemvigh-Muller sales director Anders Voldsgaard Clausen. “It will grow step by step in different countries and industries.”

According to Norsk Stal chief executive Helge Runer, green steel market trading is currently at a nascent stage and the expensive prices are in the spotlight, but this will change. “Mills are already investing billions in new technology for decarbonisation, but it will by the end users who will drive up this new trend,” he opined.

Svetoslav Abrossimov Bulgaria