German steel production up 17% on month in August: WV Stahl

German crude steel production in August was 17% higher month on month to 2.83 million mt, reflecting the ramp up of producers over late summer, data from German steel federation WV Stahl showed Sept. 23.

Although output remained 13% below 2019 levels and WV Stahl saying a stabilization of the situation had yet to be seen, the increase from July suggested production cuts by German mills during the height of the coronavirus pandemic have been reversed somewhat.

The month-on-month increase could be seen in both blast- and electric arc furnace-based production, which grew 12% to 1.99 million mt and 11% to 844,000 mt, respectively. Pig iron production rose 2% to 1.8 million mt, which was down 15% year on year.

Hot-rolled steel production amounted to 2.4 million mt, up 4.3% from July but down 13% from August last year.

According to S&P Global Platts monthly German steel sentiment survey at the beginning of September, the majority of participants expected further production increases in early autumn as mills were increasingly ramping up as demand rose.

Finding an equilibrium between supply and demand has been one of the biggest challenges during the pandemic for mills.

“Small furnaces are being restarted. But mills seem to be disciplined and not ramping up too quickly, because they would pay the price later,” a German mill source said.

— Laura Varriale