French strikes, Brexit concern hit Celsa

Celsa, the Spanish-headquartered long steel supplier, is currently seeing its European operations impacted by a number of uncertain elements, company ceo Francesc Rubiralta told local press.

The company’s exports have been impacted by the strikes in France seen since mid-December in protest against the government’s proposed pension reform. The demonstrations have continued during the first weeks of January, strongly impacting the transportation system, with blockades also staged at ports.

Celsa exports finished products to France from its Spanish mills. The company is also currently setting up finishing lines at its billet plant in southern France to further grow its presence in the French and Benelux markets.

On the other side of the channel, the company is also facing the uncertainty of Brexit. Celsa produces long products through its EAF-based mill in Wales.

In the reports monitored by Kallanish, Rubiralta said the main concern is the possibility that after Brexit the European safeguard system could be removed in the UK. This would drastically limit the protection given to local producers. He nevertheless believes the country is preparing for a relatively soft Brexit, with a few years of preparation until the complete withdrawal is done.