More European mills plan output cuts to balance oversupply in flat steel [UPDATE]

Nordic steelmaker SSAB plans to stop operations at one blast furnace in Finland next month, while Germany’s Thyssenkrupp will stop a hot-rolling mill in Bochum for about a month and Italian steelmaker Arvedi plans a longer-than-usual holiday stoppage in December, Fastmarkets heard during the Euroblech Trade Fair in Hanover, Germany, on Wednesday October 26.
SSAB will stop the BF in Raahe, which has capacity for 1.25 million tonnes per year, in mid-November for about for 6-8 weeks, Fastmarkets heard. The outage was brought forward in order to reduce output during the fourth quarter in the face of weak steel demand.

The company operates two BFs in Raahe with combined capacity for 2.5 million tpy of pig iron. The company produces hot-rolled coil and plate in Raahe.

Meanwhile, Thyssenkrupp, which was one of the few steelmaker which had not announced any output cuts during the current energy costs crisis, will stop a 4.4 million-tpy hot-rolling mill in Bochum for one month starting in December, Fastmarkets heard.

Arvedi will extend its planned maintenance in December by one week, Fastmarkets heard. The company will stop operations on December 19 for at least 14 days, several sources said.

Market sources expected the announced output cuts to help to balance the oversupplied HRC market in Europe in the coming months.

“That’s what the market needs right now – to reduce the volumes. There is no other way to balance supply and demand,” a steel service center in Germany told Fastmarkets.

Italian re-roller Marcegaglia also plans to stop its flat-steel rolling and tube welding facilities in Italy for one week in November and two weeks in December, Fastmarkets heard. The exact dates and assets affected have yet to be announced. But sources suggested that the company will stop all its lines in Italy – in Ravenna, San Giorgio di Nogaro, Gazoldo degli Ippoliti, Boltiere, Lomagna, Casalmaggiore and Forli.

HRC prices in Europe have been declining almost non stop so far in the second half of 2022 due to both insufficient demand from end-user sectors and overstocking at buyers.

Fastmarkets’ latest calculation of the daily steel HRC index, domestic, ex-works Northern Europe, was €670.00 ($664.09) per tonne on October 25, unchanged from the previous day.

The latest calculation was, however, down by €13.75 per tonne week on week and by €95.00 per tonne month on month.

(This story was updated to include new information about Marcegaglia, and with the addition of the table, neither of which were available at the time of initial publication.)

Published by: Julia Bolotova