Steel production in Italy will decline by about 15% in 2020 amid falling demand, especially in the automotive sector, caused by the coronavirus pandemic and low production at ArcelorMittal Italia. S & P Global Platts announced this on July 28, President of the Italian steel federation Federacciai Alessandro Banzato.
“This is our estimate, it is not an easy one given the times we live in, but if we look at the recovery in demand that we have seen since June, this is our forecast,” Banzato said. He added that even if there were more blockages, they should have been localized and less economically destructive than the first. “In Italy, we reacted quickly and made a proper lockdown. The situation has improved and this helps the economy and therefore the steel industry, but we cannot yet say that we are outside the forest,” he added.
Steel production in Italy fell 5.3% year-on-year in 2019 to 23.192 million tonnes, down 4.9% from the EU average to 159.4 million tonnes.
According to the latest data on global steel in the first half of this year, the EU produced 68.3 million tonnes of steel, down 18.7% from a year earlier. H1 production in Italy, the second largest producer in the EU, fell 9.7% to 10.08 million tonnes.
Italy has closed all of its steel mills, with the exception of ArcelorMittal Italia and Arvedi, for nearly two months since mid-March, as it was the first country in Europe to be hit by the new virus. The Italian economy, brought to its knees by the coronavirus, is expected to contract about 9.5% this year, according to the latest data released by the Bank of Italy, revising its forecast of a 9.2% decline made last month.
“The Italian steel industry has been hit hard since February /March. It’s fair to say that we have recorded a slowdown since the end of last year, but there has been a slight recovery since June, which is supported by the construction sector like us.” the automotive sector, government incentives – not only for the electric vehicle, but also for the hybrids – are helping, “he said.