Federacciai: Italian steel industry will close 2020 in unsatisfactory way

Thursday, 15 October 2020 12:25:22 (GMT+3)   |   Brescia

"Despite some recent signs of recovery," the Italian steel industry "will close 2020 in an unsatisfactory way both in terms of volumes and profitability," said Alessandro Banzato, president of Italian steel producers' association Federacciai during the annual meeting of the federation. In the first eight months of the year, Italian crude steel production fell by 17 percent, he pointed out. "For our sector, last year had already closed with recessive signs (production volumes down by 5.2 percent and a contraction in margins), but 2020 had opened with small signs of a recovery". Then, "Covid arrived and production fell by 40 percent in March and by 30 percent in April. A slow recovery began in May, which allowed us to reabsorb part of the previous losses, reaching a month-on-month increase of 9.7 percent in August," he continued. Overall, the sector is performing "better than the European average which in the first eight months of the year lost 18.6 percent of production. We are now almost in line with the German trend (-16.5%) and we are leaving behind France and Spain which, due in some cases to plant shutdowns, are losing about 27 percent each," he stated. Outside the European context, on the other hand, he stated, "China continues its triumphal march towards the goal of exceeding 1 billion mt of annual production. With 689 million mt in the first eight months, it recorded a 3.7 percent increase and, today the country represents 58 percent of the world’s entire production."

On the other hand, the association of Italian steelmakers looks to next year with "cautious optimism", at least for the first few months, the Federacciai president noted. "If a good ability to coexist with the virus were to be confirmed, both in Italy and in Europe, the forecasts we can make for 2021 are positive, also thanks to the benefits of the measures already initiated to revive the economy," he concluded.

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