German steel production lowest in 50 years

April 7th, 2009 - 7:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Wiesbaden (Germany), April 7 (DPA) Steel production in Germany dropped by half in the year up to March, the steepest decline since unification nearly 20 years ago, according to figures released Tuesday.
The Federal Statistics Office said German steelworks produced 2.1 million tonnes of raw steel and 1.28 million tonnes of pig iron last month, 49.8 percent and 50.3 percent below the levels of March 2008.

Compared to February, raw steel production was 17.5 percent lower and pig iron production down by 14.2 percent, the figures showed.

In the first quarter of 2009, total production was 40 percent below that of the previous year.

The German economy, Europe’s biggest, has been in recession since last year as a result of the global economic downturn.

Steel production is now at levels not experienced since the 1950s.

Germany’s biggest steelmaker, ThyssenKrupp, recently announced a 500-million-euro ($670 million) restructuring programme that will also include job cuts.

Some 10,000 ThyssenKrupp employees staged a demonstration Monday against the job losses.

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