Steel production

During the month, Spanish steelmakers produced 1.13 million tons of steel

In March 2023, Spanish steel companies increased steel production by 22.2% compared to the previous month – up to 1.13 million tons. This is evidenced by WorldSteel Association’s data.

Compared to March 2022, Spanish steelmakers increased steel production by 11.2% in March 2023.

In the first quarter of 2023, Spanish steelmakers produced 2.79 million tons of steel, which is 6.9% less than in the same period of 2022.

In 2022 Spain reduced steel production by 19.2% compared to 2021 – to 11.46 million tons. In December, the country’s steelmakers produced 686,000 tons of steel, which is 19.8% less than the previous month.

In general, steel production in the countries of the European Union in March 2023 fell by 5.6% compared to March last year – to 11.9 million tons. In January-March of 2023, 33.1 million tons of steel were produced in the EU, which is 10.1% less y/y.

During the second half of 2022, European steelmakers massively reduced production capacity amid rising electricity tariffs and unfavorable market conditions. At the same time, the European market was filled with imported steel products, which attracted consumers at lower prices than local ones. According to Fastmarkets estimates, at the end of 2022, about 14-15 million tons of annual steel capacities were 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, and the costs of energy resources – decreased and stabilized. In addition, the industry predicts further growth in demand for steel products.

In early February 2023, ArcelorMittal restarted the blast furnace And at the plant in Gijón in the north of Spain. The unit has been idle since the end of September 2022 due to uncertain economic prospects and unfavorable market conditions.

On March 22, the company announced the shutdown of the recently started furnace A due to a fire that occurred due to the destabilization of the unit’s normal shutdown. According to local media, the blast furnace will be shut down for at least two months. The capacity of the unit is 2.35 million tons of pig iron per year. The company continues work on blast furnace B.

According to European consumers of rolled steel, recent incidents at two steel plants plants of the largest steel producer in Europe, ArcelorMittal, in France and Spain, will in the near future provoke a shortage of products on the EU market at the level of 1 million tons.