The year 2023 has seen a notable shift in the European Union's sponge iron import landscape. In June of this year, the European Union imported 1,340,000 tons of sponge iron, reflecting a 25.8% decrease from the same month last year and a 0.7% decline compared to the preceding month.
The main destinations for sponge iron imports into the European Union, including Italy, Germany, Belgium, Spain, and Austria, have all experienced a decline in import volumes compared to the previous year.
In the first half of this year, Italy imported 489,040 tons, Germany received 346,300 tons, Belgium imported 183,720 tons, Spain acquired 91,000 tons, and Austria brought in 72,600 tons of sponge iron. Notably, the import volumes for all of these countries witnessed a decrease compared to the same period last year.
During the first half of this year, the European Union primarily sourced its sponge iron from Russia, Libya, and Venezuela. Russia contributed the highest amount with approximately 677 thousand tons, followed by Libya at 259 thousand tons, and Venezuela at 91 thousand tons. Notably, imports from Libya surged by over 87%, while imports from the other two sources experienced declines.
The reasons for this decline could be multifaceted, including shifts in demand, changes in sourcing strategies, or broader economic factors.