Europe steel growth moderates, Asia to surge: Commerzbank

The European steel market is expected to remain stable this year despite high demand in the industry, Commerzbank raw material analysts Daniel Briesemann said during the annual “Zukunft Stahl” conference on Wednesday.

The event, organised by business daily Handelsblatt in Düsseldorf, was monitored by Kallanish.

“The market has been stabilised, so the price of hot rolled coil in northwest Europe was 25% less than the record high of last August and prices for cold rolled coil decreased by 20%,” Briesemann noted. “However, both prices are still at an extremely high level in a historical comparison.”

According to him, after the quick recovery in 2021, Europe can expect a more moderate steel industry growth this year. “However, global steel production is expected to reach new record levels due to the economic growth in Asia and the Middle East. In Europe, on the contrary, we don’t expect this [record output] to happen,” he said.

There are still some supply problems and semiconductor shortages, which reflects on the automotive industry, Briesemann observed.

“In the EU, the focus will be on the decarbonisation of production facilities, so that the previous record high [output] from 2017 should not be reached again anytime soon,” the analyst concluded.

More than 80% of European steel capacities are expected to implement carbon emissions reform by 2025, and steel industry CO2 emissions are expected to peak before 2030, he says. “To achieve this, more steel scrap is to be used in production, over 300 million tonnes/year from 2025. To this end, more electric arc furnaces should or must be built,” Briesemann concluded.

Svetoslav Abrossimov Bulgaria