Daily Management Review

Bloomberg: Five major commodity industries face energy crisis


Pressure on important areas of the global economy is rising as a result of the energy crisis. According to Bloomberg, producers of steel, fertilizers, sugar, and metals are being pressured to reduce manufacturing costs.

Manufacturing of solar energy and materials used in electric car batteries are also having challenges.

First, the production of industrial metals has been impacted by the energy crisis. According to Bloomberg, over the previous year, Europe has already lost roughly half of its capacity for smelting zinc and aluminum.

Due to rising electricity prices, the Norwegian steel company Norsk Hydro ASA stated this week that it will shut down its aluminum smelter in Slovakia in late September. Additionally, the international metals business Nyrstar said it will discontinue operating its massive Budel zinc smelter in the Netherlands.

According to Bloomberg, the energy crisis has impacted steel production as well. More than 70% of the local steel mills in Sichuan Province, China, were affected by the power outage caused by the drought; they either stopped or reduced their production. In addition, at least two American steel mills started to curtail some operations in order to save money on power.

Due to China's energy problem, production of metals like lithium and polysilicon has decreased. BloombergNEF notes that Sichuan was responsible for more than a quarter of China's lithium production in 2021. Analysts of the agency anticipate a short-term increase in pricing.

Due of worries about a food crisis, international fertilizer suppliers, particularly China, are reducing their exports to other nations. At least 25% of Europe's nitrogen fertilizer capacity has already been lost, and the International Fertilizer Association forecasts that the world's fertilizer consumption will experience its first record decline since the financial crisis of 2008 during the upcoming growing season.

The agency cites analysts who forecast an increase in food prices due to higher sugar costs. The German sugar company Suedzucker AG issued a warning against price increases brought on by the transfer of expenses in the event of an emergency as a result of the cessation of Russian gas supplies.

source: bloomberg.com