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Steel Industry in Germany
Steel companies: indispensable for the economy
Germany is the largest steel producer in the EU and the seventh largest in the world. As a basic industry, the steel sector is of particular importance for the value-creation chains, and is the backbone of Germany’s economy.
Europe’s leading steel location
Germany, with annual production of almost 43 million tonnes of crude steel in 2014, is the world’s seventh-largest steel producer and the largest in the European Union (EU 28). Germany is responsible for 2,6 per cent of world production, or a quarter of crude steel production in the EU. With 17.2 billion euros, the steel industry in Germany is responsible for about 30 per cent of the value creation achieved by the European steel industry.
About two-thirds of steel in Germany is produced in integrated steel mills (blast furnace, steelworks and rolling mill), the remaining third via the electric steel route. The manufacture of hot-rolled finished products totalled 36.5 m. tonnes in 2014. Most were flat products (65 per cent), with long products making up the remaining 35 per cent. Stainless and alloyed steels make up over 50 per cent of total production and thus have a higher status here than is internationally usual (approx. 30 per cent). North Rhine-Westphalia is the German state that produces the most steel – about 40 per cent.
Steel is the backbone of the German economy
As a basic industry, the steel sector is particularly important for the value-creation chains in Germany. The numerous innovations implemented by this industry and its close interrelations with other industrial sectors contributes towards the success of, for example, the car industry or machine construction. The steel sector supplies about one-fifth of the input purchases for machine construction and 12 per cent of those for the automotive industry. Other important customer sectors include electrical engineering, the building sector as well as steel and metal processing. With about 3.5 million employees, the steel-intensive sectors account for two out of every three jobs in the processing industry.
The steel industry is also an important customer for numerous supplier sectors. This is due to its high input intensities: the steel industry is responsible for an annual transport volume of about 145 m. tonnes. Then there are the long production chains and the comprehensive range in production, as well as the associated services involved – from pig iron production to the rolled steel product. Studies on economic significance show that every euro of additional value creation in the steel industry in Germany generates a further 1.7 euros of value creation in upstream sectors. It has also been empirically proved that each job in the steel industry is connected with five to six further jobs in the supplier industries.