ArcelorMittal (BME: MTS ) expects its steel production in Europe to fall by some 1.5m tonnes in the fourth quarter compared to the previous period, as it cuts capacity due to the weakening demand and rising energy prices, the company reported.
The world’s largest steelmaker announced earlier this month that it would cut output in Germany, Poland and Spain, in particular, by halting one blast furnace in each country.
The Spanish press published on Friday that the company has proposed to the unions a Temporary Employment Regulation File (ERTE) until the end of 2023 for factories in Spain that employ 8,300 workers.
The steel industry is one of the largest energy-consuming sectors facing rising costs, as reduced Russian gas supply is affecting the European market.
According to ArcelorMittal, European steelmakers are also facing weak demand, especially in the automotive sector, as the economic climate deteriorates, as well as increased imports from outside Europe.
“Overall, customer confidence today is at a lower level than during the COVID crisis in 2020,” an ArcelorMittal spokesperson for Europe said in emailed comments.
In France, the company is planning to use an ERTE on certain days for the rest of the year, a local spokesman said, confirming earlier comments from union representatives.
Production will be reduced at its Florange processing plant in eastern France, while the group will use planned maintenance at one of its two remaining blast furnaces at its Dunkirk primary production plant to reduce output from October. said the French spokesman, adding that all centers in the country would move activity more towards the hours of lower energy consumption.