Southeast Europe steel output remains stable in February

Southeast Europe (SEE) crude steel production was almost flat in February, according to the latest worldsteel data monitored by Kallanish. Regional output amounted to 236,467 tonnes, compared to 235,766t in February 2023.

In the first two months of the year, regional production increased to 468,254t, compared to 426,049t in January-February 2023.

Serbia was again the largest steel producer among the seven countries of SEE, which also include Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, North Macedonia and Moldova.

However, worldsteel did not provide data for February steel production in Bosnia or Moldova.

Serbia’s production of crude steel totalled 206,600t in January-February, down by 0.7%.

However, second-largest producer in the region Slovenia saw production in the first two months of the year at 107,060t, up by 5.6%.

Third-largest steel producer Bulgaria saw its crude steel output up by 3.8% to 75,000t.

North Macedonia produced 48,945t, up 51.2% on-year. Croatia steel output was flat on-year at 30,649t.

SEE crude steel production fell in 2023 to 5.68 million tonnes, down by 38.6% year-on-year.

Special steelmaker Slovenian Steel Group (SIJ) saw revenue drop 23.1% on-year in 2023 to €1 billion ($1.09 billion) due to high energy prices and extraordinary events (see Kallanish passim). In October, the firm restarted production of stainless steel at its SIJ Acroni unit following an accident at the hot rolling mill.

HBIS Group Serbia Iron & Steel said earlier it will continue to operate with only one blast furnace due to weak demand globally, especially in the European steel market. Its production last year was slightly over 1.1mt of slab, after blast furnace No.1 was idled in mid-2023.

ArcelorMittal’s Bosnia-based Zenica long steelworks resumed production in January after it temporarily paused output last November at its rolling mills due to weak market conditions (see Kallanish passim). It reported a net loss of BAM 159 million ($88.2m) last year compared with a net profit of BAM 41m in 2022. According to the steelmaker, shipments were at their lowest level for the last 14 years, due to a drop in demand and increase in the cost of electricity.

Svetoslav Abrossimov Bulgaria