HRC bucks EU imports decline in 2023

EU hot rolled coil imports in 2023 increased by almost 18% year-on-year, according to the latest data shared by EUROMETAL and compiled using official customs numbers.

Overall, HRC imports surpassed 18 million tonnes. Italy was the largest importer with over 3.5mt, followed by Spain with 1.3mt, and Belgium with 900,00t, Kallanish notes.

The recovery in HRC imports nevertheless bucked the overall import trend last year in Europe. According to the same data, EU imports of flat products – including non-alloy and stainless – decreased 3% y-o-y to 19mt.

Similarly, all other major steel products imports registered a decrease in 2023.

Metallic coated sheet imports fell 18% y-o-y to 3.6mt, while cold rolled coil imports were down 1.5% to 2.5mt.

On the longs side, overall imports of non-alloy and stainless products registered a decrease of 20% y-o-y to 7.5mt. Rebar imports were down 29% to 1.2mt and wire rod imports decreased 25% to 2mt.

Emanuele Norsa Italy

Austria’s June steel production rises on-year

Austria’s steelmakers decreased crude steel production in June compared to the previous month, according to worldsteel data.

Output amounted to 648,000 tonnes, down by 1.8% compared to May, but 2.7% more on-year, Kallanish notes.

In January-June, the country produced 3.78 million tonnes of steel, down 4% on-year.

In 2022, Austria reduced steel production by 4.7% on-year to 7.51mt.

Overall EU output in June fell by 11.1% on-year to 10.6mt. In January-June, EU steelmakers produced 66.3mt, down 10.9% on-year.

Austria’s largest steelmaker voestalpine expects good earnings after a strong 2022/23 fiscal year (see Kallanish passim). It recorded the highest level of revenue and best operating result in its history, surpassing even its record year of 2021/22. The Austrian group’s revenue rose by 22.1% over the previous year to €18.2 billion ($19.2 billion), and Ebitda from €2.3 billion to €2.5 billion.

The firm said in June expectations were more cautious because of the war in Ukraine, among other geopolitical tensions worldwide, and inflation in both Europe and North America turning out to be more persistent than expected. Still, the company expects Ebitda to reach €1.7-1.9 billion in the current fiscal year.

Earlier, voestalpine approved an investment of around €1.5 billion for the construction of one electric arc furnace at each of its two sites in Austria – Linz and Donawitz. These will ultimately replace two blast furnaces by 2027.

Svetoslav Abrossimov Bulgaria