During the past year, Belgian steelmakers produced 5.89 million tons of steel

Belgian steelmakers reduced steel production by 16.1% in 2023 compared to 2022, to 5.89 million tons. This is evidenced by data from the WorldSteel Association.

In December, Belgian steelmakers produced 423 thousand tons of steel, up 69.9% compared to November 2023 and down 28.5% compared to December 2022. Thus, in December, steel production in the country recovered to the monthly average after reaching an unprecedented low of 249 thousand tons in November.

The average monthly steel production in Belgium in 2023 amounted to 491.25 thousand tons, while in 2022 the figure was 585.83 thousand tons (-16.15% y/y).

According to a GMK Center article, in mid-September, ArcelorMittal announced that blast furnace A at its Ghent, Belgium, plant would be shut down for several months to replace the refractory lining. BF A was scheduled to be blown up on September 14, 2023, and its launch was scheduled for the end of November. This is likely to have affected the country’s steel production in September and November and annual production in general. In addition, the negative conditions in the EU steel market also affected the work of steelmakers.

Belgium has 5 steel mills, including one blast furnace (BF&BOF) in Ghent (annual capacity of 4.34 million tons of steel) and four electric arc furnaces – two in Charleroi (850 thousand tons and 350 thousand tons), one in Châtelet (1 million tons) and one in Genk (1.2 million tons). These are enterprises of Aperam and ArcelorMittal.

In 2022, Belgian steelmakers reduced steel production by 0.4% compared to 2021, to 6.94 million tons. In December 2022, 667 thousand tons of steel were produced, up 13.8% y/y and 28.3% m/m.

In general, steel production in the EU countries in December 2023 increased by 2.7% compared to December 2022 – to 9.1 million tons. In 2023, the EU produced 126.3 million tons of steel, down 7.4% y/y.

As GMK Center reported earlier, in 2022, European steelmakers reduced steel production by 10.5% compared to 2021, to 136.7 million tons. Overall, global steel production fell by 4.3% y/y last year – to 1.831 billion tons.