Sinking ArcelorMittal Poland production reflects European deindustrialisation

ArcelorMittal Poland (AMP)’s crude steel production sunk to just 3.1 million tonnes in 2023, down 9% on-year. This represents a drop exceeding 2mt over the last five years.

Production has been gradually declining following the closure of AMP’s Krakow blast furnace in 2020, weakening European steel demand, imports’ increased share in consumption, and uncompetitive production costs in Europe. Output in 2022 was 3.4mt, after 2021 production of 4mt, a slight rebound from 3.9mt in 2020, which was plagued by the Covid pandemic, but still down from 4.8mt in 2019. In 2018, output had been 5.3mt.

According to worldsteel data, Polish crude steel production declined 13% last year to 6.44mt.

Last November, AMP announced its decision to adjust coke production levels to low demand and difficult coke pricing dynamics, by hot idling the coke oven battery in Krakow (see Kallanish passim). ArcelorMittal Tubular Products meanwhile plans to cease production at its Krakow welded pipe mill by end-March 2024 due to the weak market situation and negative economic outlook.

AMP’s electric arc furnace-based sister mini-mill ArcelorMittal Warszawa meanwhile maintained crude steel output on-year at 500,000t in 2023.

ArcelorMittal’s sales in Poland slumped 25% on-year in 2023 to $4.47 billion, seeing the country slip one place to fifth in the list of ArcelorMittal’s highest-earning countries. Of the top five, only top market the US saw sales rise in 2023, by 0.6% to $8.89 billion.

Adam Smith Poland