31 August 2022 – More and more reports are arriving that European stainless steel producers are scaling back or shutting down production altogether. So far, more than 3 million tonnes of annual capacity are already affected. The main reason cited by the major mills is the sharp rise in energy costs. Many stainless steel consumers and buyers seem to have got off on the wrong foot so soon after the summer break.
European stainless steel mills shut down
More and more European stainless steel producers are either reducing their production or shutting down their EAFs altogether due to the sharp rise in energy costs. Already at the beginning of August, the Belgian Aperam mill in Genk was closed. Production at the Châtelet mill has been reduced.
Spanish stainless steel production is being cut back
Now the Spanish group Acerinox has also announced that it will cut its production and put 85% of its employees on short-time work for the time being – for at least 15 days.
What are the Italians doing?
According to market sources, there has already been a hastily convened crisis meeting at the Italian stainless steel producer Acciai Speciali Terni. It is assumed that possible production cuts or even a temporary closure of the mill were also discussed there. There is currently no official statement on this.
And the other EU mills?
The Spanish and Belgian EAF mills alone have a combined production capacity of more than 3 million tonnes of stainless steel per year. Which will definitely have an impact on availability. In addition, there are about 2.5 million tonnes of further EAF stainless capacities in Northern and Southern Europe about which no further information is currently available.
Stainless buyers in a tizzy
Across the EU there are reports that companies and buyers are currently trying to buy existing stocks as quickly as possible, especially from service centres, stockists and wholesalers.
This situation was to be expected, but seems to have caught many stainless steel consumers on the wrong foot. Now it is time to be quick.
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Disclaimer: Many things here represent our opinion. Others are information from the Internet. We can therefore never claim to be correct or complete. And never base a business decision solely on the news you receive from us.