German crude steel production drops sharply in June: WV Stahl

German crude steel production continued to experience a heavy decrease in June, falling 27.3% year on year to 2.48 million mt, German steel federation WV Stahl said July 20.

June marks the third consecutive month of “significant” decreases in output from Europe’s largest steel-producing country.

“The negative effects of the coronavirus crisis on German crude steel production are clear to see,” WV Stahl said.

German crude steel production using blast furnaces shrank 35.8% year on year in June to 1.53 million mt, while production using electric arc furnaces fell 7.3% to 941,000 mt.

In the second quarter, crude steel production was down 26% on the year, after a 6% drop in Q1. Total crude steel production in the first half of 2020 was 17.46 million mt, 15.7% lower than a year earlier.

Pig iron production plummeted 34.5% on the year in June to 1.45 million mt, taking the H1 total to 10.9 million mt, an 18.2% fall from H1 2019.

June hot-rolled steel production dropped 29.7% to 2.1 million mt, taking the H1 total 15.1% lower to 15.2 million mt.

Although steel prices in Northwest Europe are slowly increasing, with industrial production recovering, capacity cuts at German steelmakers remain in place until further notice. The summer holidays are expected to curb production further as mills will conduct their usual maintenance work, with some extending stoppages because of weak demand.

Most companies across the entire steel supply chain have short-time working in place, meaning reduced shifts and government aid for workers’ pay.

— Laura Varriale