Germany’s steel production hits four-year high in March

Crude steel output at German mills in March was 3.8 million tonnes, up by 14.8% on-year and 21.9% on-month, writes steel federation WV Stahl in its monthly update. This is the highest monthly figure in the last four years, it observes.

In January-March, Germany increased steel production to 10.2mt, up by 3.2% compared to the first quarter of 2020, Kallanish notes.

Germany is among the top ten steel producers in the world.

In 2020, German steelmakers reduced production by 10% on-year to 35.66mt, due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

March showed on-year growth after a drop in February, which comes amid the surge in demand and prices since last November. Market supply has tightened further in recent weeks, which invites the question as to why mills do not respond to demand by increasing production.

Two previously idled blast furnaces were largely put back into production in February – at HKM in Duisburg and at ArcelorMittal Bremen. Thyssenkrupp, meanwhile, plans to idle one BF for a reline in summer, which normally means elevated production levels in the preceding months, to create an inventory for the standstill period.

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has helped some German steel companies to ramp up the digitalisation process, the use of hydrogen and more EAF investments, voestalpine marketing executive Wolfgang Mitterdorfer noted last month.

Svetoslav Abrossimov Bulgaria