Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Economia e Produzione Industriale

Germania. Energia a €540 per megawatt ora. Industrie chiudono o fuggono.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-08-22.

2022-08-22__ Germania Macrodati 001

«year-ahead electricity — a benchmark for the continent — soaring past €540 per megawatt hour. Two years ago, it was €40»

«European gas for next month settled on 18 August at a record high of €241 per megawatt-hour, about 11 times higher than usual this time of year»

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Il cuore industriale dell’Europa si trova di fronte a un potenziale esodo, poiché i produttori tedeschi di componenti per auto, prodotti chimici e acciaio lottano per assorbire i prezzi dell’energia elettrica che salgono a nuovi massimi quasi ogni giorno. I prezzi dell’energia elettrica e del gas in Germania sono più che raddoppiati in soli due mesi, con un’impennata dell’energia elettrica su base annua – un parametro di riferimento per il continente – che ha superato i 540 euro per megawattora. Due anni fa era di 40 euro.

L’inflazione energetica è molto più drammatica qui che altrove. Temo una graduale deindustrializzazione dell’economia tedesca. La nazione si affidava al gas russo per alimentare le sue centrali elettriche e le sue fabbriche, ma ora si sta preparando a una sfida senza precedenti per tenere accese le luci e far funzionare le aziende dopo che la Russia ha ridotto questi flussi. Le chiusure temporanee a causa dei prezzi elevati si sono già viste in passato, con la riduzione della produzione di fertilizzanti e acciaio a dicembre e marzo.

Ora i prezzi stanno assistendo a un rally ancora più sostenuto, che sta rendendo la situazione più difficile. Il 18 agosto il gas europeo per il prossimo mese ha raggiunto il livello record di 241 euro per megawattora, circa 11 volte più alto del solito in questo periodo dell’anno. Le imprese non sono immuni da questa impennata dei costi e molte sono destinate a trasferire gli aumenti sui clienti o addirittura a chiudere del tutto.

Tuttavia, è evidente che la posizione industriale della Germania sta scivolando. Nei primi sei mesi di quest’anno, il volume delle importazioni di prodotti chimici è aumentato di circa il 27% rispetto allo stesso periodo dell’anno precedente. Alcune industrie saranno sottoposte a un grave stress e dovranno ripensare la loro produzione in Europa.

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«Europe’s industrial heartland faces a potential exodus as manufacturers of German car parts, chemicals and steel struggle to absorb power prices that rocket to new highs almost every day. Power and gas prices in Germany more than doubled in just two months, with year-ahead electricity — a benchmark for the continent — soaring past €540 per megawatt hour. Two years ago, it was €40»

«Energy inflation is way more dramatic here than elsewhere. I fear a gradual deindustrialization of the German economy. The nation relied on gas from Russia to fuel its power plants and factories, but now it’s preparing for an unprecedented challenge to keep lights on and businesses running after Russia slashed those flows. Temporary shutdowns due to high prices have been seen before, with fertilizer and steel production curbed in December and March»

«Now, prices are seeing an even more sustained rally that’s tightening the squeeze. European gas for next month settled on 18 August at a record high of €241 per megawatt-hour, about 11 times higher than usual this time of year. Businesses aren’t immune to those soaring costs, and many are set to pass on increases to customers or even shut altogether.»

«Still, there’s evidence that Germany’s industrial position is slipping. In the first six months of this year, the volume of chemical imports rose by about 27% from the same period last year. Some industries will go under serious stress and will have to rethink their production in Europe»

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Germany Risks a Factory Exodus as Energy Prices Bite Hard

Europe’s industrial heartland faces a potential exodus as manufacturers of German car parts, chemicals and steel struggle to absorb power prices that rocket to new highs almost every day.

Power and gas prices in Germany more than doubled in just two months, with year-ahead electricity — a benchmark for the continent — soaring past €540 per megawatt hour. Two years ago, it was €40.

“Energy inflation is way more dramatic here than elsewhere,” said Ralf Stoffels, chief executive officer of BIW Isolierstoffe GmbH, a maker of silicone parts for the auto, aerospace and appliance industries. “I fear a gradual deindustrialization of the German economy.”

The nation relied on gas from Russia to fuel its power plants and factories, but now it’s preparing for an unprecedented challenge to keep lights on and businesses running after Russia slashed those flows. Temporary shutdowns due to high prices have been seen before, with fertilizer and steel production curbed in December and March.

Now, prices are seeing an even more sustained rally that’s tightening the squeeze. European gas for next month settled on 18 August at a record high of €241 per megawatt-hour, about 11 times higher than usual this time of year.

While the government is limiting the increases faced by households to some extent, businesses aren’t immune to those soaring costs, and many are set to pass on increases to customers or even shut altogether.

“Prices are placing a heavy burden on many energy-intensive companies competing internationally,” said Matthias Ruch, a spokesman for Evonik Industries AG, the world’s second-largest chemical producer with plants in 27 countries.

The company is substituting as much as 40% of its German natural gas volumes with liquefied petroleum gas and coal, and passing some higher costs on to customers. But the notion of relocating is a nonstarter, a spokesman said.

Still, there’s evidence that Germany’s industrial position is slipping. In the first six months of this year, the volume of chemical imports rose by about 27% from the same period last year, according to government data analyzed by consultancy Oxford Economics. Simultaneously, chemical production fell, with output in June down almost 8% from December.

The International Monetary Fund said last month that Germany is set to be the worst performer in the Group of Seven nations this year due to industry’s reliance on Russian natural gas.

Europe’s largest copper producer, Hamburg-based Aurubis AG, aims to minimize gas use and pass on power costs to customers, CEO Roland Harings said on 5 August. Sugar giant Suedzucker AG devised emergency energy plans in the event Russia completely cuts off gas supply to Germany, a spokesperson said by email.

BMW AG is stepping up its preparations for a potential shortage. The Munich-based automaker runs 37 gas-powered facilities that generate heat and electricity at plants in Germany and Austria, and it’s considering using local utilities instead.

Packaging firm Delkeskamp Verpackungswerke GmbH plans to close a paper mill in the northern city of Nortrup because of high energy costs, with 70 workers losing their jobs.

A prolonged ascent for energy prices may wind up transforming the continent’s economic landscape, said Simone Tagliapietra, senior fellow at Brussels-based think tank Bruegel.

“Some industries will go under serious stress and will have to rethink their production in Europe,” he said.

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