Production and supply volumes in January-March were affected by lower demand and strikes in Finland

In the first quarter of 2024, Swedish steelmaker SSAB reduced shipments of steel products by 8.8% y/y – to 1.58 million tons and steel production by 5% y/y – to 1.94 million tons. This is stated in the company’s report for the first quarter of this year.

SSAB’s production and shipments in January-March were lower than in the same period last year due to lower demand and trade union strikes in Finland. However, these figures are slightly up compared to the fourth quarter of 2023, when there were scheduled maintenance outages.

SSAB Europe reduced steel shipments by 10.3% y/y – to 818 thousand tons in the first quarter of 2024. Steel production decreased by 5.6% compared to the same period in 2023 – to 1.077 million tons.

The Group’s adjusted operating result in January-March 2024 fell by one third year-on-year – to SEK 3.16 billion. The decline was primarily due to a reversal in US plate prices from high levels. The company notes that the market in Europe remained relatively weak, with the high-strength steel segment showing greater stability.

SSAB also reported that the company’s transition to fossil-free steel production is underway, and it has decided to invest €4.5 billion in the Luleå steel plant. In addition to reducing 7% of Sweden’s carbon dioxide emissions, this investment has a number of other benefits, including lower production costs, greater flexibility and a wider product range.

The Swedish steelmaker expects underlying demand to be fairly stable in the second quarter. SSAB Europe’s shipments are expected to be higher in April-June compared to the first quarter of 2024, and product prices for this division are expected to remain stable.

As GMK Center reported earlier, in late 2023, SSAB began construction of an electric arc furnace (EAF) in Ökselesund. The company intends to transform its entire production system in Northern Europe by 2030. Investments in the EAF in Ökselesund and related raw material processing will amount to about $600 million.