European steelmakers like Thyssenkrupp, Tata Steel, ArcelorMittal and Viohalco have announced production cuts to match a slump in demand and labour challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The steelmakers have cited a delay in deliveries and lack of orders from, the automotive and construction sectors.
Other steelmakers like the Beltrame Group in France; Tenaris-Dalmine in Italy; Salzgitter in Germany; and Voestalpine in Austria, have either cut production or temporarily suspended operations amid diminishing demand and a struggle to transport raw materials.
The EU is the second-largest producer of steel in the world after China, with an annual output of over 177mn mt, accounting for 11pc of the global output.
The European Commission expects their steel industry to contribute 20pc to GDP from a previous 15.2pc, as the EU remains an essential steel producing region for economic, social and supply reasons.
The UK government has a lockdown in place to contain the spread of virus till mid-April at the earliest.
Primary steelmakers, like the Jingye Group-acquired British Steel, and other blast furnaces, have been forced to stop operations.
As per the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ (SMMT) data, British passenger car output is expected to slide by 18pc to 1.1mn, down from the previous month’s 1.3mn.
Car manufacturers like Aston Martin, Lotus and McLaren have suspended operations at their sites. This followed shutdowns from producers like Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan in the wake of tightened supply of auto parts from China due to the COVID-19.