German steel output grows overall in October, but EAF output slows

German crude steel production in October was up by 9.4% on the month to 3.7 million mt, although output from electric arc furnace production slowed as supply chain problems and increasing energy costs remain risk factors for Germany’s steel industry, according to data published by German steel federation WV Stahl Nov. 19.

Year-on-year, October’s crude steel production grew 10.7%, while year-to-date output was up 16.1% to 29.9 million mt, reflecting the recovery pandemic-related shutdowns.

Looking at the breakdown between the two different furnace routes, 2.5 million mt of crude steel were produced via the oxygen route, up 14.4% month on month. Electric arc furnace production stood at 1.13 million mt, down by 0.2% on month.

Electric arc furnace producers, which mostly produce long steel products in Germany, have been hit harder by rising energy costs. WV Stahl told S&P Global Platts Nov. 19 it could not give more detail on the reasons behind the divergent trends for specific production routes.

“Generally, there have been palpable headwinds recently for the steel economy,” said a WV Stahl spokesperson, adding that slowdown was coming from the industrial sector with supply bottlenecks and higher energy costs.

However, in year-on-year comparison, EAF production was down 4.6%, while blast furnace production was up 13.2%. European sources in the long steel market told Platts previously that higher electricity costs are hitting production levels and several long steel mills such ArcelorMittal’s European longs mills have introduced an electricity surcharge on new orders.

Pig iron production stood at 2.3 million mt in October, up 14.1% month on month and up 10.5% year on year, while hot-rolled products increased 3% to 3.1 million mt on month, down 1.4% year on year.

— Laura Varriale