News Global Market France 25 May 2023
The production rate fell by 8% y/y
In April 2023, steel enterprises of France increased steel production by 43.7% compared to March 2023 – up to 937 thousand tons. This is evidenced by World Steel Association’s data.
On an annual basis, steel production in France fell by 8% in April 2023.
In January-April 2023, French steelmakers produced 3.27 million tons of steel, which is 26.5% less compared to the same period last year.
In 2022, France cut steel production by 26% compared to 2021 – to 12.12 million tons. Thus, the country took 16th place in the WorldSteel global ranking of steel producers.
In general, steel production in the EU countries in April 2023 fell by 11.7% compared to April last year – to 11.1 million tons. In January-April 2023, 44.4 million tons of steel were produced in the EU, which is 10.2% less y/y.
A significant increase in steel production in April compared to March is likely due to capacity recovery of ArcelorMittal steel plant in Fos-sur-Mer. The company previously announced plans to restart blast furnace №2 in April 2023. The unit has been idle since December 2022.
At the same time, on March 30, 2023, the French steel mill ArcelorMittal Dunkirk suspended production at blast furnace №4 as a result of a fire. BF №4 is the most powerful of the three units with which the plant is equipped. The blast furnace was not damaged, but its launch scheduled for mid-June 2023. The total capacity of the plant is 7 million tons.
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 output fell 4.3% y/y last year – to 1.831 billion tons.
European steelmakers are massively reducing or stopping production against the background of rising electricity tariffs. At the same time, the European market is filled with imported steel products, which attract consumers by lower prices than local ones. According to Fastmarkets, since September 2022, about 14-15 million tons of annual steel capacities have already been stopped in Europe.
Already at the end of 2022 – the beginning of 2023, EU steelmakers began to restart the stopped capacities, as the apparent demand for steel and product prices began to grow, while energy costs decreased and stabilized. In addition, the industry predicts further growth in demand for steel products.