Thyssenkrupp warns customers of continued bottlenecks

Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe has prepared its business partners for a further delay in normalisation of supplies, which have been impaired for months by various factors stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company warned customers last week, when the situation was exacerbated by a sudden temperature drop and snowfall that caused disruptions in traffic and transport (see Kallanish 16 February).

In a letter dated 11 February, worded in English and sent to partners internationally, the company states that the “persisting instability… goes against our self-conception,” and expresses regret about the situation.

Executives Bernhard Osburg and Arnd Köfler declare that they had aimed at restoring supply levels and rebuilding inventories by February. To this purpose, tk Steel meant to increase production by purchasing additional input materials, despite the financial disadvantages this would entail, Kallanish reads in the company’s communique.

However, due to the “unforeseeable winter weather conditions”, tk Steel will not be able to stick to that timetable, the authors say. Given the complete stoppage of public railroad lines, the weather conditions have caused additional production loss, they say. Consequences for deliveries will be addressed with customers individually, they add.

Meanwhile, one week after the dispatch of that official circular, temperatures in Germany have seen a complete turnaround, with spring-like weather appearing in most regions. Temperatures of below 20C effectively lasted little longer than one week.

A tk Steel spokesman reports a normalisation in operations inside the steelworks, but notes that long-distance railway shipping is still subject to disruptions. The company has therefore refrained from giving the all-clear.