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European steel industry looks for way forward amid coronavirus demand blow

SPGlobal - The coronavirus has dealt the European steel sector a heavy blow. Coming on the heels of Brexit and global trade tensions, the crisis has also highlighted the region’s overcapacity problem, raising the possibility of previous merger and divestment plans being revived.

As much as 18.9 million mt of steelmaking capacity was taken offline in Europe during the market slump caused by the pandemic – more than in any other region. This comes on top of 2019’s marginal contraction in production.

By mid-May, steelmakers across Europe had restarted production, but the industry faced an unprecedented situation as the sector organization Eurofer was unable to offer a production outlook, while mills still had very little clarity about their order bookings.

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