Paris, France: ArcelorMittal, the world's number-two steel maker, saw its net profit tumble by 78 percent in the third quarter of 2022, as metal prices fell from "exceptional" levels during the post-Covid recovery and energy prices soared.

The global steel market is suffering both from the slowdown in China's economic growth -- the world's largest user of steel -- and from the fallout of the war in Ukraine and the surge in energy prices in Europe.

From July to September, ArcelorMittal said in a statement that it made a net profit of $993 million compared to $4.6 billion in the same quarter last year, bringing the profit for the first nine months of the year to $9 billion compared to $10.9 last year.

"The strong market conditions enjoyed for much of the past two years deteriorated in the third quarter as seasonally lower shipments, a reduction in exceptional price levels, destocking and higher energy costs combined to put profits under pressure," said Aditya Mittal, ArcelorMittal CEO.

While expressing confidence in his group's resilience he warned that the "short-term outlook for the industry remains uncertain and caution is appropriate."

In September, ArcelorMittal said it would shut down two of its blast furnaces in Europe over high energy prices and lower demand.

The group's total steel shipments in the third quarter were down just over five percent compared with the previous year, which the group said largely reflects weaker demand and seasonality in Europe.

But the group said steel shipments "remain broadly stable", excluding ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rig which is impacted by the war in Ukraine.

Work halted for a month when Russian forces approached Kryvyi Rig, but eventually restarted at a reduced tempo.

© Agence France-Presse