Steel production

Production of pig iron decreased by 0.9% y/y, and rolled steel – by 3.6% y/y

German steelmakers reduced steel production by 3.9% in 2023 compared to 2022, to 35.44 million tons. This was reported by the German steel association WV Stahl.

«This is the lowest production volume since the financial market crisis in 2009. However, the situation then quickly recovered after a sharp decline caused by the recession,» WV Stahl said.

Steel production in BOF vessels decreased by 0.9% y/y – to 25.63 million tons and in electric arc furnaces (EAFs) – by 10.8% y/y, to 9.81 million tons. Pig iron production decreased by 0.9% y/y – to 23.63 million tons. Germany’s rolled steel output in 2023 amounted to 30.64 million tons, down 3.6% from 2022.

In December, German steelmakers reduced steel production by 2.3% compared to December 2022 and by 2.5% m/m – to 2.63 million tons, in particular

  • in BOFs – 2.099 million tons (-2.9% y/y; +14.7% m/m);
  • in EAFs – 533 thousand tons (+0.4% y/y; -38.8% m/m).

Pig iron production for the month fell by 2.8% y/y and 11% m/m – to 1.94 million tons, while rolled steel production increased by 6% y/y and decreased by 1.5% m/m – to 2.27 million tons.

“Weak demand coupled with high and internationally uncompetitive electricity prices pushed steel production in Germany to a historic low. The downward trend in production continued in December. This means that the negative trend, which has been going on since the beginning of 2022, continues. In the fourth quarter of 2023, production was about 5% below the corresponding level of the previous year,» the report said.

The Association points out that the German steel industry needs specific actions from the government. The issue of uncompetitive electricity prices, which have doubled since the beginning of the year and are higher than ever before, is particularly acute.

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.