Steel production

During January-March, Spanish steelmakers reduced steel output by 2.3% y/y

In March 2024, Spanish steelmakers reduced steel production by 9.7% compared to the same month in 2023, to 1.07 million tons. Thus, the country ranked 16th in the global ranking of steel producing countries (71) by the WorldSteel Association.

Compared to February 2024, Spanish steelmakers increased steel production by 20.8%.

In January-March 2024, Spain reduced steel production by 2.3% compared to the same period in 2023, to 2.91 million tons. Average monthly steel production for the quarter amounted to 971.7 thousand tons compared to 994.7 thousand tons a year earlier.

The results of Spanish steelmakers were probably affected by the ongoing strikes at the Acerinox steel plant in Cadiz. Employees have been on strike for the past three months over disagreements in their labor agreement, including salaries and work schedules. The company has no guarantees that the dispute will be resolved in the short term and expects a decline in EBITDA in the second quarter after a loss of $332 million in the first quarter of 2024.

In general, steel production in the European Union in January-March 2024 decreased by 1.4% compared to January-March 2023 – to 33 million tons. Global steel production for 3 months amounted to 469.1 million tons, up 0.5% y/y.

As GMK Center reported earlier, in 2023, Spain reduced steel production by 2.7% compared to 2022, to 11.26 million tons. The average monthly steel production amounted to 938.5 thousand tons, while in the same period of 2022 the figure was 964.42 thousand tons (-2.69% y/y).

There are 17 steel enterprises in Spain: Megasa Siderúrgica Narón (capacity of 700 thousand tons of steel per year), ArcelorMittal Asturias (1.2 million tons per year), ArcelorMittal Olaberria-Bergara (4.2 million tons per year), ArcelorMittal Asturias steel plant DRI and EAF expansion (1.1 million tons per year), Celsa Global Steel Wire Santander (750 thousand tons per year), ArcelorMittal Sestao (2 million tons/y), Sidenor Aceros Especiales Basuri (740 thousand tons/y), Celsa Global Steel Wire Santander (750 thousand tons/y), Celsa Global Steel Wire Santander (750 thousand tons/y), Celsa Nervacero (1 million t/y), ArcelorMittal OlaberriaBergara (1.45 million t/y), Grupo Gallardo Corrugados Azpeitia (800 thousand t/y), Megasider Zaragoza (500 thousand t/y), Celsa Barcelona Castellbisbal (2.5 million t/y), Grupo Gallardo Corrugados Getafe (600 thousand t/y), Hydnasilk (600 thousand t/y), Hydnum Steel Castilla-La Mancha (600 thousand tons/y), Grupo Gallardo Siderurgica Balboa Jerez de los Caballeros (1.3 million tons/y), Riva Siderurgica Sevillana (1.3 million tons/y), Acerinox Europa Los Barrios (1.2 million tons/y).

The total capacity of the plants is 21.94 million tons per year. Thus, in 2023, capacity utilization was 51.3%.

Low steel production last year was due to the weak market conditions that have been observed since the fall of 2022. The European steel industry is facing high production costs at a time when demand for domestic steel products is weak amid a flood of cheaper imported products. In the fall and winter, many companies are limiting their capacity to balance supply and demand and stabilize prices.