7 July 2023 – Is the EU steel industry really leading the way to Net-Zero? Or is this just another false flag operation? And the demand to Berlin: less kowtowing to the steel hammer and more daring of the Mittelstand (SMEs)!
- EU steel industry is leading the way to Net-Zero?
- Everything bad in Germany?
EU steel industry is leading the way to Net-Zero?
EUROFER and the EU steel producers are masters at taking statistical figures and twisting them to make the efforts of the European steel mills look particularly heroic in the fight to save the planet. But is the EU steel industry really leading the way to Net-Zero? Rather not.
EUROFER: Steel emissions reduced by 30%?
Since 1990, EUROFER says, manufacturers have reduced their emissions by 30%. But this was due exclusively to two green-washed points. Between 1990 and 2010, manufacturers managed to reduce their emissions per tonne of steel by 14%. What was the reason for this? A shift in production share from the classic BF-BOF to the EAF route. Together with a reduction in crude steel production of about 12%. Oh miracle oh green miracle, they had magically reduced their CO2 emissions by 25%. However, it has not been consistently continued.
EU steel industry with no further changes since 2010
Has anything sustainably green happened on the steelmaker side since then that could be heroically seized upon? Apart from a further reduction in crude steel production of about 16% between 2010 and 2022, nothing has changed in the CO2 emissions of EU steel producers since then.
Even the production share between BF-BOF and EAF has remained the same, as the interested reader can read on the EUROFER website.
“Just under 60% of total EU steel is produced via the BF-BOF production route.”Source: EUROFER, What is steel and how is steel made?, 2020
BF-BOF vs. EAF production share unchanged
This is in line with the data of the analysis of the Boston Consulting Group and the Steel Institute VDEh from 2013, which already at that time showed a production share of 59% BF-BOF and 41% EAF in the EU on the basis of EUROFER data. But what a thing to say.
The Reduction of CO2 Emissions from 1990 to 2010 Mainly Driven by…
And even then, the analysts determined what is still being presented today as a great success on the part of the EU steel manufacturers in terms of CO2 reduction:
“The Reduction of CO2 Emissions from 1990 to 2010 Mainly Driven by Volume Effects”.Source: stahl-online.de, Steel’s Contribution to a low-carbon Europe 2050
Green washing on a grand scale
If you are not yet convinced that this is green washing with a huge smoke screen of supposedly saved CO2 emissions, just compare the factor of verified crude steel CO2 emissions in the EU from 2005 to 2022 with crude steel production in the European Union. Changes? None.
Is that already scamming the taxpayer?
Why no changes? Because apart from taking taxpayers’ money to keep ailing corporations artificially alive, and presumably paying lobbyists to wave green flags and funny statistics, there has been no interest on the part of EU steel producers to do anything about CO2 reduction. There were neither additional subsidies, nor were the prices for CO2 certificates high enough, nor was there any pressure from the legislator (who was intimidated with the steel hammer if necessary).
Everything bad in Germany?
One could be forgiven for thinking that Germany, Europe’s economic engine, is at the end of the road – at least that is how many journalists are reading the situation these days. But here, too, it depends on where you look and who wants to benefit from it. The refreshingly positive article in the news magazine ntv on the subject of “What Germany is really suffering from” focuses attention on the fact that the downfall will probably not happen.
In first place on the Global Attractiveness Index
Because in the World Competitiveness Ranking of the International Institute for Management Development, Germany is in 22nd place out of 64 (as of June 2023). In the Global Innovation Index (WIPO) of September 2022 it is even in 8th place out of 132 and in the Global Attractiveness Index it is in 1st place out of 148 (The European House/Ambrosetti).
Operating profits doubled?
So is Germany’s economy going down the drain? Last year’s record profits tell a different story. According to the article, half-year profits rose to more than 163 billion euros. According to the German Bundesbank, operating profits have almost doubled in the last 15 years to 2.4 trillion euros.
Is everything bright and rosy in the Bundesrepublik?
Does that mean everything is rosy? Of course not, as the ntv article admits. The tax burden, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises, is far too high and should not exceed a top rate of 25%. In addition, there is a need for innovation incentives and a significant increase in investments in infrastructure. If necessary, the Federal Minister of Finance could give the Federal Minister of Economics a few hours of coaching. But remember the deadlines, otherwise you will quickly end up like the German Chancellor and his Economics Minister.
Dare more „Mittelstand“, fear less the steel hammer
Unfortunately, both have shown in the past that they prefer to hand out money to the big corporations instead of strengthening the backbone of the German economy, the Mittelstand (SMEs). Instead, Berlin prefers to kowtow to the steel hammer from Duisburg. So this is what you get when you put a forgetful chancellor and a children’s book author in posts that are far too big for their horizons!
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