19 May 2022 – Already prepared? Something is rolling towards us. 300 billion euros in renewable energy. Significantly reduced duration of approval procedures for wind power and solar energy plants. Ukraine is pushing Russia back. And China is coming out of lockdown. The next case to annul the EU Safeguard measure on certain steel imports has just lost for the plaintiff in the EU Court of Justice. And EUROFER demands more and more.

Already prepared? Something is rolling towards us
Already prepared? Something is rolling towards us

Already prepared? Lessons from the Corona Pandemic

Something ist rolling towards us and the markets are in a lukewarm mood. Not just since the EU’s €300 billion investment announcement in renewables by 2030. Already prepared for this?

Investment and much shorter approval procedures

Because these new additional investments combined with drastically reduced approval processes for new wind (currently an average of 9 years) and solar (currently an average of 4 years) power plants, which are to be pushed down to 1 to 2 years, will now be whipped through the EU in the shortest possible time. What this means for the demand for industrial metals – especially for stainless steel, aluminium, copper, electrical steel – we have already emphasised several times.

Geopolitical uncertainties

At the same time, it is to be expected at the moment that Ukraine and Russia will at least reach a stalemate in this unspeakable war in Europe. And even if Ukraine cannot finally drive Russia out, it should at least be able to restore the pre-invasion borders as things stand.

China comes out of lockdown

Now, after three months, China is also coming out of the state-imposed lockdowns. Its economy has a massive need to catch up. From which the United States and Europe will also benefit.

Better prepared: Pandemic as a textbook

The Corona pandemic showed us that as soon as the lockdowns were over, there was a strong economic revival and overcompensation for projects and investments that had been postponed until then.

EU Safeguard: Another lawsuit to annul lost

One might think that the European Court of Justice is currently trying to clear the air on accumulated lawsuits against European anti-dumping and Safeguard measures.

Moldovan steel producer loses Safeguard case

The latest case on the repeal of the EU Safeguard measure (Case T-245/19), which has been ongoing since 2019, has once again been lost by the plaintiff company from the Republic of Moldova and its Brussels lawyers. The EU judges found all the arguments put forward by the claimant to be unjustified and thus again upheld the European Commission’s claim.

At the end of April 2022, a Taiwanese stainless steel producer had already lost a case to annul the EU Safeguard measure on certain steel products in the last instance.

Eurofer demands security of energy supply

The European Commission’s announcement that it wants to become as independent as possible from dependence on Russian energy imports has, as expected, put the European steel producers’ association Eurofer on the spot.

Largest EU energy consumers demand more

Eurofer is calling for security of supply for one of Europe’s most energy-intensive industries and for more investment in the development of green hydrogen infrastructure.

Highest steel overcapacity after China

At the same time, European producers have the highest overcapacity in crude steel production in the world after China.

Comment: Don’t just take, give too

One might now think that an industry which, according to its own claims, can only exist because it is kept alive by direct and indirect subsidies, market protection measures such as anti-dumping and countervailing duties and safeguard, free emission allowances (ETS) and the Carbon Border Tax CBAM, is no longer economically viable, would now consistently shut down old and dirty blast furnaces (BOF) – in order to meet its own demand to reduce overcapacity, but would thereby also meet the European consumer, who was called upon by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen instead of the steel manufacturers to consistently save energy.

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