SSAB expects Europe improvement following challenging third quarter

Sun beams bursting through the roof windows of a steel mill shining on steel coils

SSAB has posted another round of challenging results for its European operation. The company is hopeful the fourth quarter will bring a recovery.

Q3 revenue at the European units of the group was down -19% year-on-year to SEK 6.1 billion ($694.7 million). The unit also posted an operating loss of SEK 631m, mainly due to lower capacity utilisation and lower prices, Kallanish notes.

The outlook for Q4 is mildly positive, but the current second wave of coronavirus in Europe is bringing further uncertainty. Shipments are expected to recover in Q4 from the 751,000 tonnes registered in Q3, which was down over 40,000t y-o-y.

Q3 crude steel production reached 837,000t at SSAB Europe, down almost 100,000t compared with the level registered in Q3 2019. This output is also set to recover as the company restarted in September a blast furnace idled at its Raahe plant earlier this year for market reasons.

Commenting on the potential sale of thyssenkrupp Steel in Europe, the company said during a call with analysts it is not engaging in bidding for the steel arm of the German group.