Europe’s steel crisis to persist: Eramet

In the last quarter of this year global steel production should decline mostly due to a seasonal effect while rising interest rates will continue to impact the construction sector, French miner Eramet says in its Q3 financial report monitored by Kallanish. In the second half of the year global steel output should remain stable year-on-year driven by Indian consumption. A significant production decline in Europe is expected for the whole of 2023.

Against this backdrop, both demand and supply for manganese alloys are expected to continue declining, particularly in Europe. As the manganese ore market is currently in surplus, prices should also continue to fall in Q4 before stabilising at year-end, the miner forecasts.

In Gabon, the targets for transported ore volumes are maintained at around 7 million tonnes as the expansion programme at Eramet’s Moanda mine in Gabon is continuing. In Q3 2023, manganese ore production reached 2.1mt, up by 4% on-year. The supply-demand balance remained in slight surplus in the third quarter with Chinese manganese ore port inventories still at high levels of 6.2mt at end-September, representing almost 11 weeks’ consumption.

“The third quarter saw a difficult macroeconomic environment with selling prices significantly lower than last year,” says Eramet chief executive Christel Bories. The group’s turnover amounted to €980 million ($1bn) in Q3, down 26% on-year owing to a negative price effect. The group January-September turnover reached €2.8 bn, down 30% y-o-y, Kallanish notes.

Natalia Capra France