Italian distributors welcome domestic steel sector reorganisation

The recent conclusion of the reorganisation of the Italian steel production sector is set to bring positive effects to the local market. This follows a long period of uncertainty, according to sources at last week’s meeting of the Italian steel distributors’ association Assofermet attended by Kallanish.

Roberto Re, head of sales for western Europe of the Ukrainian group Metinvest, noted that the market has suffered from a lack of leadership during the last two years. This has been so because of the problems at Ilva and Aferpi, (formerly Lucchini).

Competition in the market has grown in recent months with the expansion of ArcelorMittal through the acquisition of Ilva and the entrance into the market of JSW and, imminently, Liberty House. Nevertheless, this reorganisation is set to bring more stability and further market discipline.

Representatives from distributors, service centres and traders in Italy also officially welcomed the arrival of India’s JSW into the local market following the acquisition of the former Lucchini operation in Piombino.

Vinay Shroff, executive vice president of the JSW group, explained that for the Indian company Piombino represented an opportunity to establish a foothold in Europe. He noted that while capacity expansion in India is ongoing, JSW is reducing its volumes available for the export market, therefore a direct presence in Europe can be strategic. The company is evaluating the possibility of expanding its presence in Italy with the relaunch of crude steel production in Piombino as well as the set-up of rolling lines for flat products.