Spain: May steel production falls 8% on year

Spanish crude steel production in May fell 8% year on year to 1.24 million mt, data from Spanish steel association Unesid showed July 25.

May was the seventh consecutive month with an annualized decline in production, leading trailing 12-month steel production to a nine-month low of 14.8 million mt as energy costs and related factors have stalled a recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic lows of 2020.

Production in May was nonetheless Spain’s highest monthly output in seven months, buoyed by seasonal factors, while a new mechanism designed to cap wholesale energy prices could ease constraints on June’s production figures.

Since the mechanism was applied in mid-June, wholesale energy costs, which are usually used as indexes for large buyers such as steel plants, have fallen 26%, according to data from market operator OMIE.

Spain has the capacity to produce 17 million mt/year from electric arc furnaces and 6.6 million mt/year from blast furnaces and basic oxygen furnaces. Usually around 85% of annual production is non-alloy steel.

Spain’s May steel recycling volume followed a similar pattern to crude steel production, reaching its highest monthly total since October 2021 at 976,000 mt, although down 9% year on year.

Shredded scrap for South Europe domestic delivery was assessed at $356.44/mt on July 22 compared with $537.18/mt at the end of May.

— Gianluca Baratti