UNESID: Spanish steel output falls by 18% in 2020 due to pandemic

Tuesday, 30 March 2021 15:25:37 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

According to Spanish steelmakers association UNESID, the pandemic negatively affected the activity of all steel consuming sectors in 2020. In the given year, Spain’s steel production declined by 18 percent year on year amid the decrease in steel demand, totaling 11.1 million mt, the worst level since the financial crisis in 2008. In some months of last year, production fell to 1996 figures, though in the fourth quarter the country’s steel production increased by 36 percent compared to the previous quarter.

In 2020, the Spanish steel industry recycled 9.1 million mt of scrap to be used as new steel products, down by 13 percent year on year. The decrease in scrap recycling was less compared to the decline in steel production.

In the given year, Spain delivered 12.3 million mt of steel products to the market, decreasing by 15.2 percent year on year. This result has interrupted three years of slight increases. The same situation was seen in the US and other countries. The demand for steel products in Spain fell by 11.7 percent last year, with strong declines seen in steel demand in the middle of the year, while a recovery of 11.6 percent was seen in the last quarter compared to the third quarter.

The country’s steel exports fell by 16.2 percent in 2020 amid the impacts of the pandemic, amounting to eight million mt. In the given year, Spain’s steel imports totaled 8.9 million mt, down by 13.2 percent year on year. In volume, there was a deficit close to one million mt and a trade surplus of €516 million.

“Our industries have had to contribute in the fight against the pandemic by making factories and facilities safe places to work. They have had to adapt themselves to drastic measures adopted by the government with the promulgation of the state of alarm and with the total closure of the economy. Despite this, the Spanish steel industry has tried to contribute to the recovery of the economy, producing and serving customers in very difficult circumstances but maintaining people’s safety as an inalienable priority,” Andrés Barceló, CEO of UNESID, said.

“The beginning of the year has been affected both due to the effects of the storm Filomena in Spain, and the sharp increase in energy prices and the continuation of the generalized escalation of raw materials throughout the world. The Spanish steel industry trusts that the relaxation of restrictive measures, as a consequence of the vaccination process, will allow a recovery of activity in all consumer sectors,” Mr. Barceló commented regarding the situation in early 2021.

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