[Ferro-Alloys.com] SSAB’s operating result for the second quarter of 2020 was SEK -251 million, down SEK 1,567 million compared with the second quarter of 2019. The steel markets were affected by lower economic activity following the outbreak of Covid-19. Compared with the first quarter of 2020, which was largely unaffected by Covid-19, earnings contracted by SEK 594 million. SSAB Special Steels’ operating profit was SEK 485 (544) million, lower volumes compared with the second quarter of 2019 had a negative impact. Demand for the special steels business was better than for standard steels and Special Steels’ operating margin amounted to 12% (11%) during the quarter. Compared with the first quarter of 2020, earnings were up SEK 27 million, partly related to cost savings and a good production rate.
The European steel market was characterized by low demand and SSAB Europe’s shipments decreased to 695 (909) thousand tonnes. Lower volumes and the impacts of reduced production pushed earnings down to SEK -566 (66) million.
SSAB Americas’ operating result for the second quarter decreased to SEK -10 (872) million and shipments decreased to 460 (475) thousand tonnes, impacted by weak demand. The second quarter of 2019 was characterized by favorable market conditions with high heavy plate prices.
Lower production levels continue and the blast furnace idled in Raahe in mid-April is planned to remain idled during the most of the third quarter. Due to the uncertain market conditions, our planned maintenance outages were brought forward to July and August from the fourth quarter. The outlook is uncertain but there are some signals in several of our customer segments indicating that demand could start to improve towards the end of third quarter.
SSAB continues to focus on developing the special steels business, as well as being the first to market with fossil-free steel in 2026. Already during the third quarter 2020, HYBRIT’s world unique pilot plant for fossil free steel will start operating in Lulea, Sweden.
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