Thyssenkrupp sees steel boom, shortage continuing

Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe chief executive Bernhard Osburg believes shortages of steel will prevail for a while, and that steelmakers will be kept busy further into the future.

Given that many reconstruction programmes are just about to start in Europe and the USA as the pandemic wanes, demand for steel will stay high for a long while. “The economic environment will stay upbeat,” he told local reporters last week.

The current bottlenecks for steel will not be overcome all that easily. Europe is currently lacking 20 million tonnes of flat products, which is around 20% of the volume consumed in normal years.

Osburg stated that Europe’s steel industry has its capacity fully utilised, but that is not enough to cover the demand. This view of his is contested by many observers from the buy side. “One cannot escape the impression in the steel market that the shortages of steel products were caused by the producers themselves,” a Dutch manager told Kallanish earlier this month. Notably, thyssenkrupp itself is about to idle some of its capacity for several months to reline a blast furnace.

At the meeting, Osburg also dismissed the idea that the EU’s safeguard measures were to blame for the shortage. “Fact is, nobody is selling,” he is quoted as saying.

Christian Koehl Germany