German first-half steel production declines -5%

Production of crude steel at German mills in the first half of 2019 was -5% down on H1 2018, Kallanishlearns from steel federation Wirtschaftsvereinigung (WV) Stahl.

“The intermediate result for the first half of year 2019 has been disappointing,” it says in its monthly statement.

Crude steel output totalled 20.7 million tonnes, with 14.4mt made at oxygen converter-route mills and 6.3mt at electric arc furnace mills, the federation details. The year-on-year dip was more pronounced at EAF mills with -6.5%, against -4.5% at BOF mills. WV Stahl offers no interpretation for the difference, so it remains unclear why EAF mills produced less despite the booming construction sector in Germany and its hunger for long products, mainly rebar and beam.

In June alone, output came to 3.4mt, a drop by some -6% on-year. Here, the drop at EAF mills was very steep, at -14.9%, while BOF mills reduced output only by -1.4%. This, however, may have to do with summer closures, which are scheduled at different times for different mills, and also at different times in the two summers of comparison. It remains to be seen if figures for July and August show an inverted picture.