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Polish Steel Industry 2021

PPS 2021
Dear Readers,
2020 will be remembered as a unique year. For over 100 years, the world, and especially Europe, has not been hit by a plague of such dimensions as the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, which "arrived" in the EU at the beginning of 2020 and determined our social, economic and political life. The pandemic, like any crisis, carries a huge threat to people, but also opportunities. With the bio-pharmaceutical sectors seizing the opportunity, humanity has received vaccines that will hopefully be able to successfully defeat this terrible virus.

The steel sector has made it through this difficult time but not without problems. Although other sectors were hit even harder, especially widely understood services. Iron and steel plants were among the first to implement remote work procedures and protection of employees at workplaces. Market and production data after 6 months of 2020 did not give hopes for optimism, especially that despite the introduced restrictions, the pandemic continued to develop. Demand in the entire EU decreased by 25% y/y, and production decreased by 18%, in Poland, demand decreased by 10%, and production by 16%. At the end of the year, the market started to recover despite the ongoing pandemic.

For the entire 2020, the consumption of steel products in the EU decreased by 11% reaching the level od 136 million tonnes, and production amounted to 139 million and was lower by 15%. In Poland, consumption amounted to 12.8 million tonnes less by 6% y / y and steel production amounted to 7.85 million tonnes - a decrease by 12%. As many as 76% of steel products used in Poland came from abroad, including 24% from third countries. This statistics looks particularly bad in the flat products segment where the share of import /import from EU amounted to 93%.

The pandemic negatively affected the level of steel production in most countries of the world. The world produced 1.878 billion tonnes, as in 2019. The global decline was not recorded, as several countries managed to maintain the growth: China + 5%, Russia + 3%, Turkey + 6%, Iran + 13%, Vietnam + 12%, Egypt + 13%. The pandemic ultimately contributed to the end of crude steel production in Kraków.

European steel workers are concerned about the future. Our market is poorly protected against unfair competition from countries that do not share the EU's green views and do not bear the cost of climate policy.

We allow the export from the EU of over 20 million tons of decarbonised raw material for steel production, i.e. steel and cast iron scrap.

The rate of reduction of CO2 emissions agreed within the EU by 2030 and the high prices of EUA allowances will make it necessary to abandon the most effective steel production technology - integrated technology.

High electricity prices and the enormous costs of transforming the Polish energy sector pose very difficult challenges to the steel industry in Poland.

By entrusting this publication to you, hope and faith shine in me that reflection will come. After all, steel is one of the most important metals that built our civilization.

With our baggage of experience, the question is legitimate whether there can be a large, independent, sovereign state in the center of Europe without its own steel production?
Stefan Dzienniak
President of the Board
Polish Steel Association

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