Federacciai: Italian market strong now, but future looks dim

Thursday, 07 October 2021 16:11:12 (GMT+3)   |   Brescia

This week in Milan, Italy hosted the ninth edition of Made in Steel, one of the main trade shows for the steel industry in southern Europe.

Yesterday, October 6, the event hosted the annual assembly of the Italian steelmakers association Federacciai. Association president Alessandro Banzato took the stage to speak about the future of the Italian market and the global challenges that the industry will have to face moving forward. 

First of all, Mr. Banzato discussed the state of the market, with the data indicating the recovery of steel production.  Italy’s steel output in the first eight months of the current year totaled 16.3 million metric tons, up 6.1 percent from 2019 and in line with 2018, which was a historic year for the steel industry. Production in  the January-August period this year also grew globally, with India (+25%), Brazil (+ 20.9%), the US (+19.5%), Turkey (+16.7%) and Japan (+17%) leading the way.

The future, however, is bringing some major concerns for the industry. The Federacciai president commented, “I am worried about what is happening in China, with the blackouts and stoppages: I do not see why this might not happen to us as well in the near future." The energy crisis is connected to another important point addressed during the assembly, namely the ambitious goals set by the Green Deal and the EU’s "Fit for 55". The Federacciai president stressed the need for a smooth transition. Moreover, according to Mr. Banzato, scrap is critical for decarbonisation, but it might also turn into a source of turmoil in the Italian market. In fact, Italy imports 4-5 million metric tons of scrap, whereas the country should be more independent and the EU as a whole should keep this material within its borders. 

Finally, the Federacciai president said he was pleased with Ast Terni being purchased by an Italian company. Having two Italian players competing for the site confirmed that "if an asset is strategic, it has a market and Italian entrepreneurs will be willing to invest,” he noted. 

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