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Europe’s steel industry under pressure amid falling orders, personnel challenges

Hellenicshippingnews - Europe’s steelmakers are cutting production and idling factory lines as an industry already buckling under a severe market downturn girds itself for the economic fallout from coronavirus, the Financial Times reports.

Companies such as Thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel have taken action because of falling orders, a lack of available personnel or as a safety precaution against infections, while market leader ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel producer, has reduced output at most of its plants on the continent.

Steel producers cite a number of reasons, chief among them being worker safety, but collapsing sales are probably as much of a dynamic.

European steel producers were struggling against a rising tide of imports before the COVID-19 virus arrived, hampered by the E.U.’s carbon credits scheme that taxes big polluters but so far has left imports from even more polluting suppliers exempt.

That is all changing later this year, as we reported, with importers ranked and penalized for the carbon content of their product.

But many in the industry think it is too little too late.

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