Coronavirus hits Italian market, companies reassure customers

Italian re-roller Marcegaglia confirms to Kallanish that its plants are fully operational, and no cancellations of orders have occurred.

“The Group has not encountered any problems in production or in the supply chain thanks to the plurality and different geographical location of the Group’s plants and the number and varied location of the suppliers available to it,” the company says.

The group has already adopted an extraordinary health protocol as a precautionary measure which also includes precise prevention measures within its offices and production plants. It has been implementing all the preventive provisions prescribed by the health authorities in full compliance with government directives to protect employees and visitors, Marcegaglia says.

The decree issued by Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on 8 March 2020 was aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19 clarifies that “… goods can enter and leave the concerned territories. The activity of carriers and transport operators is a working requirement: the personnel who lead the means of transport can therefore enter and leave the territories concerned and move within them, to the limited purposes of delivering or collecting the goods.” In an amendment to this decree on 9 March Giuseppe Conte has put the entire country on lockdown. While steel companies are reassuring customers, deliveries are being delayed and the market is slowing significantly this week following the news that the number of deaths has doubled in the past 48 hours.

Alfa Acciai, the Italian longs supplier headquartered in the Brescia area, has announced that its production will be halted to collaborate as much as possible with the restrictive measures imposed by the local government. This is to stop the spread of the virus, according to local sources. The group will halt production at its Brescia plant, while the Acciaierie di Sicilia site in Sicily is understood to not be impacted by the decision. Brescia and Lombardy are the areas mostly impacted by the current coronavirus outbreak in Italy.

The company explained to the local media that it will continue to ship products to its clients, but production will be stopped to ensure minimum activity at the site.

Italian steelmaker Arvedi, located in north-west Italy, also issued a statement on Sunday to reassure its suppliers and customers. It said that its production and logistics’ operations, including shipments and receipt of deliveries, will continue in the coming weeks (see Kallanish 8 March).