Low rivers fail to worry German mills

The drought that has made Germany’s rivers drop to critical levels has not yet put the biggest mill groups in alarm mode. Statements on the matter sent to Kallanish upon request keep a factual tone that does not suggest immediate worry.

“So far, there has been no impairment of production at any of our mills that would be attributed to low water levels,” says ArcelorMittal, owner of four big mills in various parts of the country. It confirms that ships cannot be fully charged, which “influences logistics processes, for example for raw materials,” but gives no information of the degree.

The same applies to thyssenkrupp Steel. The company has set up a task force which “observes the Rhine levels continuously and has taken several measures,” but it does not detail which ones. It notes that its raw “materials supplies are secured,” and so is the delivery of outgoing coils, which are transported by train or by truck.

Salzgitter AG in central Germany has the advantage of the country’s largest artificial waterway, the Midland Canal, which can keep a steady level. It states that it will inform its customers and suppliers individually if interruptions are foreseeable.

For Swiss Steel with the four German mills of its Deutsche Edelstahlwerke unit, the main raw material is scrap, delivered by truck and occasionally by rail. Regarding international delivery, “we switched outgoing transports of containers with our products to the western ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam to trucks weeks ago so as not to jeopardise our shipments,” a spokesman states. 

Christian Koehl Germany