After the 2009 collapse, Bulgaria's metallurgical industry has started to make a comeback with growth of 3.7% in the first nine months of 2010 year-on-year.
Thus, in January-September 2010, the Bulgarian metallurgical plants produced a total of 562 100 tonnes of steel. The production of non-ferrous metals has also started to grow, though by an even smaller share.
This becomes clear from data of the Bulgarian Association of the Metallurgical Industry (BAMI) released Friday, November 5, which in Bulgaria is celebrated as the Day of Metallurgical Workers.
The news about the growth of the steel industry comes just after the failure of the second auction for the assets of what once was Bulgaria's steel giant and is now bankrupt because of mismanaged and allegedly draining, the Kremikovtzi steel mill.
BAMI forecasts that Bulgaria's 2010 steel production will surpass the 2009 output.
Yet, tven though the Bulgarian metallurgical sector has started growing again, its growth is very modest, and it is far from reaching the pre-crisis level after the 2009 collapse by some 50%, according to Politimi Paunova, BAMI Director, as cited by the Bulgarian financial newspaper Pari.
Paunova believes that Bulgaria has the pontetial to become a hub for the production of non-ferrous metals. As far as the steel-production is concerned, in her words, if the Kremikovtzi steel-maker does not recover and start production again, Bulgaria will become a net importer of steel.