Southeast Europe steel output decreases in 2022

Southeast Europe (SEE) crude steel production fell in 2022, according to the latest worldsteel data monitored by Kallanish. Regional output amounted to 7.38 million tonnes, down by 34.7% year-on-year.

In 2021, SEE output was 8.36mt, up by 37.5% on-year (see Kallanish passim).

Romania was the largest steel producer among the eight countries of SEE, which also include Serbia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, North Macedonia and Moldova. Romania’s production of crude steel totalled 2.71mt, down by 19.6%.

The second-largest producer in the region was Serbia, whose output was 1.67mt in 2022, up by 0.3%. It was followed by Bosnia with production up by 15% to 890,000t.

HBIS Group Serbia Iron & Steel’s production in January-September was stable and the firm has increased exports to the EU, despite the energy crisis and global logistical problems. In July, the plant nevertheless idled blast furnace No.1 at its Smederevo works due to low global demand for steel products.

The fourth-largest steel producer, Slovenia, saw production of 601,000t, down by 9.2%, followed by Moldova, which saw its crude steel output drop 1.8% to 560,000t. Special steelmaker Slovenian Steel Group (SIJ) said earlier it anticipated a 40% reduction in production volumes in the fourth quarter of 2022 due to extremely high energy costs and customers being unlikely to accept higher steel prices (see Kallanish passim).

The sixth-largest steel producer, Bulgaria, produced 530,000t, down by 3.2% y-o-y. Last month, Metinvest’s Kametstal steelworks resumed operations after a forced shutdown because of power supply restrictions. Metinvest said a long-term absence of deliveries of square billet from Kametstal may lead to the suspension of production at its Bulgarian subsidiary Promet Steel.

North Macedonia took seventh place with 248,000t, down 21.4%.

Eight-largest Croatia saw its crude steel output down by 11% to 165,000t.

Svetoslav Abrossimov Bulgaria