Despite a shortage of steel on the market, thyssenkrupp Steel is sticking to its plan for a reline of one blast furnace, which means an outage from July to September.
To bridge this period, the company is providing inventories, Klaus Keysberg, chief financial officer of parent thyssenkrupp AG, said during a quarterly earnings call. Asked about the company’s ability to deliver, Keysberg told Kallanish that orders of volumes in the four-digit tonnage range for delivery in the final quarter of the year should still be possible.
After two failed run-ups for a merger of its steel division, thyssenkrupp is now pushing the independence of the unit, and possibly a stand-alone spin-off. Recent attempts of going together with Tata Steel and Liberty Steel did not work out. With the latter partner especially, “price-related as well as structural questions never made real progress”, Keysberg said.
He pointed at the ambitious plans for a big conversion of technology at tk Steel’s works in Duisburg, which involves the construction of direct reduced iron plants. He underlined that the steel industry will need much financial support from governments for the transformation to “green” steel.
In Italy, the group is currently talking to “several candidates” for a sale of its stainless steel company Acciai Speciali Terni. In Germany, it is preparing the spin-off of a sheet piling services unit.
Keysberg also said that thyssenkrupp has not lifted steel exports, for example to the USA to benefit from the higher price levels there. In the past two reporting quarters, “European customers and OEMs had the priority to be served”, especially since their call-ups for volumes had risen. Currently, these have slowed down somewhat due to production brakes at carmakers (see separate story).
Christian Koehl Germany