Port of Antwerp expects strong steel traffic

The Port of Antwerp expects steel traffic to remain strong for at least the first half of 2022, a port spokesman tells Kallanish.

In 2021, steel throughput rose by a massive 81% year-on-year, totalling 9.38 million tonnes. Steel is the most important product group within conventional break bulk, which totalled 11.5mt, up 74%. Steel was also the product that saw the strongest y-on-y growth in 2021, following the low in 2020.

According to the spokesman, incoming steel volumes rose significantly more – by 128% to 5.85mt – than outgoing volumes – by 36% to 3.53mt. In 2020, the volume of imports was nearly identical to that of exports, with both around 2.58mt.

For this year, growth is expected due to adjustments to the USA’s Section 232 tariffs. This means that 3.3mt of steel melted and forged in the EU could be imported tariff-free. Also, the exemptions that had been in place for certain steel products will be in force for another two years.

He also refers to other indirect factors which will affect future throughput. These are the recovery of the automotive sector, investment regarding the CO2 footprint, higher energy costs, the EU’s safeguard review in June, magnesium shortages, and higher export duties on Chinese steel.

Christian Koehl Germany