Long steel producer Feralpi sees recovery on construction investments

The Italian steel industry will start to recover in the next few weeks thanks to government investments in the construction sector, Giuseppe Pasini, chairman of Feralpi Group, one of the main European steel producers focused on the construction industry and special products, told S&P Global Platts on July 23.

The company’s mill in Brescia will stop only one week in August on positive orders from the domestic market and internationally. Usually Italian mills do maintenance for two to three weeks in August. “In this way we will manage to recover partially the time lost from end of February to mid of April due to the lockdown,” Pasini said.

Brescia has been one of the hardest hit regions in Italy affected by the coronavirus outbreak, along with Bergamo and Milan.

Feralpi’s steel output was 2.5 million mt in 2019, down 0.3% for the year, on turnover of 1.3 billion euros ($1.5 billion), 1.3% lower than 2018. Output held up well due to a good performance by its German mills.

Investments came to 54.5 million euros, mainly in decarbonization of production activity. “The positive results achieved in 2019 strengthen our group, even in a situation where the market slowed down, especially in the second half of the year,” Pasini said. “What didn’t slow down was our inclination towards investments, which continued to be robust to remain competitive, and picking up on what the UN 2030 Agenda and the European Green New Deal are asking to manufacturing companies. In other words, the use of sustainable, circular development models that contribute to decarbonization, foster social inclusion and create value for the area and community where we operate. These are also the pillars of our development strategy, which are steering investments and R&D projects.”

Pasini welcomed the recovery funds legislation just signed by the EU, and said that Italy should direct the stimulus to healthcare and to efforts to make industry greener.

— Annalisa Villa