German rebar mill keeps production level low

German rebar mill Badische Stahlwerke (BSW) produced less last year than in the preceding year and currently continues production at a reduced level, according to local press reports. Amid a sluggish domestic rebar market, this modus likely applies to other mills in the country as well.

According to local daily Badische Zeitung, the mill’s output in 2022 was 10% less than in 2021, and sales volume dropped by 20%, the report states without providing tonnages. The decline is hardly surprising in the context of the Ukraine war and rising materials prices, with their repercussions on German construction activity.

The mill also points to transport capacity shortages on waterways. For shipping companies, contracts for coal or grain were more profitable than scrap, and the low water on the Rhine River caused an additional shortage of capacities, it says.

Shortly after the Ukraine invasion, BSW idled one of its two electric arc furnaces, which each have a capacity of 1 million tonnes/year. At present, the situation is similar, with again one of the EAFs running at a minimum, Kallanish hears from an observer. Due to low market activity, the mill had already extended its regular maintenance over Christmas, he adds.

BSW provides no official comments and rarely issues fiscal figures. In 2020, it achieved a revenue of €900 million ($950m) and profit of €13.3m, the daily writes, citing a previous annual report of the mill.

Christian Koehl Germany