Germany throttles steel production in first quarter

Crude steel output at German mills in the first three months came to 9.8 million tonnes, 3.7% below the first quarter of 2021, steel association WV Stahl reports in its monthly statistics.

A general comparison between the two periods is tricky given crises factors of different nature, Kallanish notes. In the first quarter of 2021, the steel industry began catching up to the low of the first coronavirus wave in 2020. The first quarter of 2022 then was affected by extraordinarily high energy costs, and, in March, from the repercussions of the war in Ukraine.

WV Stahl attributes the modest production to mainly those recent factors, without giving details. Especially EAF mills are suffering from the high energy costs, and some have been heard interrupting production temporarily.

Production in the three months were relatively equal at 3.2 or 3.3m tonnes each. This figure is unusually low for March, though, and in fact was 12% below the corresponding month of 2021.

Christian Koehl Germany