Low rivers do not worry German mills

The drought that has caused German rivers to drop to critical levels has yet to put the largest factory groups on alert. Statements on this subject sent to Kallanish when asked, keep a factual tone that does not suggest immediate concern.

“So far, there have been no decreases in production at any of our factories that would be attributed to low water levels,” says ArcelorMittal, which owns four large factories in various parts of the country. It confirms that ships cannot be fully loaded, which “influences logistics processes, for example for raw materials”, but gives no information on the degree.

The same goes for Thyssenkrupp Steel. The company has set up a task force which “constantly observes the levels of the Rhine and has taken several measures”, but it does not detail which ones. It notes that its “supplies of raw materials are secure”, as is the routing of outgoing coils, which are transported by train or truck.

Salzgitter AG in central Germany benefits from the country’s largest man-made waterway, the Midland Canal, which can maintain a constant water level. It specifies that it will inform its customers and suppliers individually if interruptions are foreseeable.

For Swiss Steel with the four German rolling mills of its Deutsche Edelstahlwerke unit, the main raw material is scrap metal, delivered by truck and occasionally by train. Regarding international delivery, “we switched outbound transport from containers with our products to the western ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam weeks ago to trucks so as not to compromise our shipments,” says a spokesperson.

James R. Rhodes