Crude steel output at German mills in 2020 dipped by -10% year-on-year to 35.7 million tonnes, according to steel association Wirtschaftsvereinigung (WV) Stahl data. Finished products output dipped by the same rate to 30.9mt.
Given that blast furnace-based flat steelmakers were most pressured to cut production, output of pig iron dipped by slightly more, -12%, to 22.6mt, Kallanish notes. Correspondingly, crude steel production at oxygen-route mills dropped by -13% to 24.1mt. Against that, production at electric arc furnace-route mills dropped by only -3.1% to 11.5mt.
In the already weak 2019, crude steel production had undercut the 40mt mark for the first time since the financial crisis in 2009. WV notes that a recovery is seemingly in progress, with production in the last three months 9% above that in the last quarter of 2019. However, this comes from a low base.
December’s crude steel production totalled 3.1mt, with both oxygen-route and EAF route steel up 10% on December 2019. The biggest surge occurred for finished products, which went up by 16%.