Europe Steelmakers Cut Production After Shutdown of Car Plants

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 reported. 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 rival Liberty House has closed some of its smaller mills for the time being.  ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest producer of the metal, has reduced output at most of its plants on the continent and predicted the pandemic was likely to put European steelmakers “under significant pressure”. “This is going to be a lossmaking year for the European steel industry,” said James Campbell at CRU, the commodity consultants. “It’s just gone through a bad year and 2020 is going to be a lot worse.” The turmoil has led analysts at the investment bank Jefferies to downgrade its earnings forecasts for the sector by 20 per cent. A major factor is the temporary shutdown of all of Europe’s carmaking facilities, showing how the impact of Covid-19 is now rippling through manufacturing supply chains. Read more

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