German company Thyssenkrupp plans to close its plate mill as it could not find a buyer for its assets, continuing negotiations with several other steelmakers to find a buyer or partner for the entire struggling steel division, pending a decision next March …
The company is also assessing whether a “stand-alone” future strategy without a partner can work for the steel mill. The company also stressed that the transition to green steel will require government funding and will be in discussion with the state and federal governments.
In October, Thyssenkrupp received an unofficial offer from Liberty Steel for its steel production.
Additional job cuts, restructuring of steel production
During a year-end press conference on November 19, the company stated that it could not find a buyer for its heavy plate mill in Duisburg-Hüttenheim by the 31 December 2020 deadline and sees a “high likelihood” of closing the mill. In 2021, interest in the AST stainless steel plant in Italy has not been disclosed. Thyssenkrupp continues to analyze the profitability of the Bochum plant.
There will be another 7,400 layoffs, of which 5,300 will be in Germany. The reductions will affect different divisions of the company, but especially in the area of materials. The job cuts add to the already cut 3,600 jobs, the company said.
The Thyssenkrupp steel mill’s current capacity utilization has increased further from the previous figure of “just over 60%,” CFO Klaus Keisberg said, although utilization was typically 90%.
Overall, in the third quarter of Thyssenkrupp, the effects of the coronavirus pandemic were increasingly felt in the steel industry. Acceptance of orders for the whole year and sales were down 17% and 20%, respectively. Adjusted EBIT posted a loss of € 946 million from a profit of € 31 million a year earlier due to a supply collapse and cost pressures due to low capacity utilization.
Steel production Q4 shipments
Steel production increased in the 4th quarter to 1.8 million tons from 1.6 million tons in the third quarter, but by the end of the year fell by 12.8% to 7.6 million tons. Crude steel production at HKM’s semi-finished product plant in Q4 fell to 417,000 tons from 485,000 tons in Q3. Annual production was 2.3 million tons, up from 2.6 million tons last year.
Hot rolled steel shipments increased in Q4 to 765,000 tonnes from 637,000 tonnes in Q3 due to increased demand from the automotive industry. HR’s annual shipments amounted to 3.1 million tons, which is 18.1% less than a year earlier.
Cold-rolled steel shipments increased from 1.2 mt in Q3. Up to 1.6 million tons in Q4, which is 9.3% less than the same period last year to 6 million tons.