Most German rebar producers are maintaining a good level of production output despite the limitations brought about by the coronavirus epidemic. This is in contrast to the situation both in other European countries, and also to German strip steel mills, which are experiencing a distinct virus-induced slowdown.
“There is absolutely no reason to assume that the German mills of Riva and Feralpi are affected by the closures in Italy and cannot serve the market,” distributor Lotter Kummetat Stahl informs customers on its website.
Although Feralpi’s German management declined to comment to Kallanish, local media confirm that “… trucks keep coming in on parade” at the mill in Riesa. At Riva’s mills near Berlin, most telephone extensions are offering only a waiting option of an operatic aria on an endless loop. There is short working and relocation of white collar staff to home-working, but production is continuing at apparently normal levels, an unofficial source tells Kallanish.
In Switzerland, construction activity has been limited or stopped in some of the cantons, which is why Stahl Gerlafingen is sounding somewhat more cautious. Production there is going on as normal, but the company nevertheless has filed for short-time working with the local government in case the situation becomes worse.
The one rebar mill in the region that has been hit to a significant extent is Badische Stahlwerke in Kehl near Strasbourg, which has basically halved its output. According to insiders, the mill depends strongly on business with France, which has come to full halt. Apparently, some of its French staff from Alsace cannot now freely cross the border. The mill has therefore closed down one of its two production lines.