2014 was once again a challenging year for Duferco Danish Steel. After last year’s significant reduction in personnel and moving down from 3 to 2 shifts, the Company was focused on optimizing processes to increase efficiency.
The mild winter in the Nordic countries helped to keep prices at a stable level. We have seen a drop during the spring which witnessed a decrease in demand, although many construction projects were anticipated due to the mild winter. During the summer, the weak euro was the main driver for EU mills to export a sizeable portion of their overcapacity outside Europe and this kept prices stable.
The imbalance between demand and supply in the European Merchant Bar market resulted in a spread between billets and finished products that was too low to cover its cost in full.
Investments in infrastructure and construction in Germany and Benelux are still at a low level, but we have seen bigger projects coming up in Scandinavia.
We were fortunate to find a new strategic billet supplier for special steel grades after the closure of DLL. It is our aim to increase the share of quality steel material and special profiles. Furthermore, we are offering solutions for just-in-time deliveries to value-added products in boron and spring steel.
DDS continues to focus on offering a high level of service, quality and flexibility, values in which we see our strength. The Management will keep focusing on optimizing processes to keep costs at a competitive level.
2015 will once again be an interesting year in which Duferco Danish Steel seeks to consolidate its position as one of the leading Merchant Bar producers in Northern Europe.