Steel production

In March, the production of pig iron in the country increased by 5.6% y/y

In March 2023, German steel enterprises reduced steel production by 2.7% compared to the same month of 2022 – to 3.238 million tons. Compared to the previous month, the indicator increased by 8.1%. German steel association WV Stahl reported about it.

In March 2023, steel smelting in converters amounted to 2.3 million tons, which is 3.7% more y/y and 12.6% m/m, and in electric arc furnaces (EAFs) – 936 thousand tons (+3.7% y/y and -1.5% m/m). Steel production in the EAF is gradually increasing amid the restoration of capacities that were suspended in the second half of last year due to the increase in the cost of electricity.

Pig iron production in Germany in March 2023 increased by 2.15% to March 2022 – 2.15 million tons, and by 10% – to the previous month.

The output of hot-rolled products for March increased by 1.5% – up to 2.98 million tons, and in comparison with February 2023 – by 13.2%.

In the first quarter, German steelmakers reduced steel production by 6.6% y/y – to 9.16 million tons, pig iron – by 1.2% y/y, to 6.07 million tons, and hot-rolled products – by 6.2% y/y, to 8.16 million tons.

As GMK Center reported earlier, Germany is among the ten largest steel producers in the world according to World Steel. In 2022, the country reduced output of steel by 8.4% compared to 2021 – to 36.8 million tons, taking 7th place in the world ranking of producing countries.

The sharp rise in energy prices as a result of Russia’s war against Ukraine had a negative impact on Germany’s steel industry. The cost of electricity and gas has risen sharply for all EU countries at a time when demand for steel has collapsed. Producers had to reduce production or stop capacities to minimum volumes. In early 2023, demand stabilized and prices began to rise, allowing steelmakers to gradually restart capacity.

Despite the difficult situation, German steel industry is gradually transitioning to non-electric arc steel production. In 2022, the share of steel produced in electric arc furnaces reached 29.8%, or 10.99 million tons.