Steel sector

During the month, Spanish steelmakers produced 925,000 tons of steel

In February 2023, Spanish steel companies increased steel production by 25.2% compared to the previous month – up to 925 thousand tons. This is evidenced by WorldSteel Association’s data.

Compared to February 2022, Spanish steelmakers reduced steel production by 6% in February 2023.

In January-February 2023, Spanish steelmakers produced 1.66 million tons of steel, which is 16.2% 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 February 2023 fell by 12.6% compared to February last year – to 10.5 million tons. In January-February 2023, 20.7 million tons of steel were produced in the EU, which is 14.3% 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 domestic steel. 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 A 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.

Last week, the plant 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. It caused a fire and heavy smoke. The company will continue to operate blast furnace B.

Also, the company resumed production at the Acería Compacta de Bizkaia (ACB) plant in Cestao. The launch was temporary – from February 11 to 17 – to fulfill one order.