Czech output returns to pre-Covid level, exports grow

Czech domestic steel production in 2021 was able to offset losses from the previous year due to a huge increase in demand in the first half of the year. Crude steel output rose 9% on-year to 4.7 million tonnes, exceeding 2019 production.

Long and flat steel output totalled 3.1mt and 1.1mt respectively. Pipe output recorded the smallest increase of 2% to 405,000t. “Demand for steel products grew rapidly mainly in the first half of last year. Czech companies often produced at the limit of production capacities,” says Czech and Slovak steel association Steel Union chairman Daniel Urban.

Czech steel imports in 2021 reached 8.3mt, at a value of CZK 182.3 billion ($8.2 billion). Exports grew to 4.9mt, at a value of CZK 122.6 billion. EU member states remained the key export markets, but especially neighbours Poland, Germany and Slovakia.

In contrast to the modest growth in Czech Republic, the production of pipe in the EU increased by 18% in 2021 to 3.1mt, Urban points out.

Czech steelmakers are so far coping with the disruption to feedstock supply from the CIS as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but are concerned over future supply shortages and enquiring with alternative suppliers (see Kallanish passim).

Adam Smith Germany