Germany faces transport impairments from weather

A rapid increase in water levels after continued rain, and a steep drop in temperature have caused intermittent standstills on Germany’s roads and waterways. The steel industry is facing some impairments in transport, but not to an extreme extent.

“There are indeed delays for our inland shipping deliveries, and effects from snow and ice for our freight,” a spokeswoman for southwestern mills Saarstahl and Dillinger tells Kallanish. However, the mills’ actual production has not been affected, she notes.

Some production cuts have occurred at Salzgitter, due to incoming raw materials and outgoing finished product deliveries being hampered. The company partly depends on the Mittelland Canal, which is largely frozen at the moment.

Few to no impairments have been reported by the large steel groups, ArcelorMittal and thyssenkrupp. “We can see the high water on the Rhine, but it does not affect our operation,” said thyssenkrupp chief financial officer Klaus Keysberg at a conference call this week. “High water on the Rhine is rarely that extreme that it becomes critical for our supplies.”

Observers from the scrap industry note that the critical mark of 8.7 metres for the Rhine at Cologne, south of Duisburg, was undercut some days ago, and it seems that the level is retreating.

Extreme cold with heavy snowfall is currently occurring mainly in the north and east of Germany, spanning from northern Westphalia eastwards to the Polish border.