Federacciai expects Italian steel production downtrend to continue

Italian steelmakers’ association Federacciai expects that Italian crude steel production will finish the current year by continuing to show a downtrend. This is in line with that seen during the first eight months of the year, Kallanish learns from a press briefing by the association’s president in Milan.

Overall output reached 15.4 million tonnes in the January-August period, down by -4.4% y-o-y. A similar fall should be expected when final annual data are calculated.

Alessandro Banzato, who has been Federacciai’s president since last year, noted that Italian steelmakers are showing resilience in a difficult market. “I don’t think the beginning of 2020 will be much different in terms of challenging demand. Nevertheless, going forward during next year the situation should get better, helped also by the very low stocks at buyers,” he explained.

Italy is the second largest steelmaker in Europe. Its performance in terms of crude steel output during the first eight months of 2019 has been in line with that registered by European market leader Germany. Both countries have seen the same decline of -4.4% y-o-y.

Looking forward, some uncertainties could come from the imminent Brexit. Federacciai has voiced concerns, also registered by other European steelmakers, asking for the EU to review the safeguard volumes once the UK is out of the EU. It also noted that it remains unclear as to how the UK will approach the ETS scheme. It is equally uncertain about how much state support will be boosted for local producers such as British Steel once they are not under the control of the European anti-trust watchdog.