In January-August, Belgian steelmakers reduced steel production by 9.5% y/y

In August 2023, Belgian steel enterprises reduced steel production by 23.5% compared to the previous month – to 461,000 tons. On an annual basis, steel production in the country decreased by 14.9%. This is evidenced by WorldSteel Association’s data.

In January-August 2023, steel production in Belgium amounted to 4.3 million tons, which is 9.5% less than in the same period of 2022.

The sharp decline in steel production in August is likely to be a seasonal factor, as steel consumption usually falls to a minimum in August as most companies go on vacation. In addition, the EU steel market is experiencing a difficult period due to rising production costs and an increase in cheap imports. This forces steel companies to shut down capacity for maintenance or to reduce capacity to balance supply and demand.

Average monthly steel production in Belgium in January-August totaled 525.6 thousand tons, while for the same period in 2022 the indicator was at the level of 605.6 thousand tons (-13.2% y/y).

There are 5 steel plants in Belgium, in particular, one blast furnace type (BF & BOF) in Ghent (annual capacity – 4.34 million tons of steel), and four electric arc plants – two in Charleroi (850 thousand tons and 350 thousand tons), one in Chatelet (1 million tons) and Gents (1.2 million tons). These are the 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, 667,000 tons of steel were produced, which is 13.8% more y/y and by 28.3% m/m.

In general, steel production in the countries of the European Union in August 2023 fell by 4.4% compared to August last year – to 9.1 million tons. In January-August 2023, 85.7 million tons of steel were produced in the EU, which is 9.8% less 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. In general, global steel output last year fell by 4.3% y/y – to 1.831 billion tons.