Energy costs likely to raise German steel prices

As a consequence of skyrocketing electricity prices, some steelmakers in Germany and its neighbouring countries are getting explicit about lifting their steel prices.

While, for example, Austria’s voestalpine was still reserved last week with commenting on its pricing policy in general, Swiss Steel came forward with wording the obvious. “We are currently examining various ways of reacting to the cost increase,” a spokeswoman tells Kallanish upon request. “This will inevitably lead to a corresponding increase of our steel prices,” she qualifies.

In a press interview, meanwhile, Swiss Steel chief executive Frank Koch stated that the group is pondering implementing a surcharge for energy that is linked to the fluctuation of market prices for energy.

Such considerations are still dismissed by Salzgitter. Surcharges as a tool for pricing “already failed in earlier times for iron ore and scrap,” a Salzgitter spokesman reiterates. However, with only one electric arc furnace mill among its production assets – the sections mill in Peine – Salzgitter feels less pain than Swiss Steel group, which produces entirely using EAFs, in Switzerland, Germany and France.

Like Swiss Steel with its special bar qualities, it will be also the makers of rebar that feel the cost sting the hardest. Feralpi has announced production stoppages in Italy, but not for Germany, where rebar sells better altogether. According to one mill source, rising energy prices should lift the rebar production cost by close to €20/tonne ($23). “We believe that mills will hand down this hike to the benders and other customers,” he says.

Christian Koehl Germany