ArcelorMittal implemented shortened working hours at its integrated mill in Eisenhüttenstadt, Germany, as of Monday August 1 amid slow demand, the steelmaker said.
ArcelorMittal Eisenhüttenstadt is applying short-time working hours at its flat steel rolling lines in August and September to adjust production for weak demand, the company said on Friday July 29.
“We are currently seeing a sharp drop in demand for rolled products, which is why we can no longer fully utilize our facilities in the rolling mills and have to resort to short-time work here and in some cross-sectional areas,” labor director Michael Bach said in a release seen by Fastmarkets. “However, our crude steel production continues at normal rates as the demand for slabs is not restricted. We will carefully monitor further developments and react to new developments if necessary.”
Eisenhüttenstadt steelworks has a capacity to produce 2.1 million tonnes of pig iron per year and 2.4 million tonnes of crude steel per year, according to Fastmarkets’ information. The plant is mainly focused on flat steel production: hot-rolled, cold-rolled and hot-dip galvanized coils.
In 2021, ArcelorMittal Eisenhüttenstadt produced 1.6 million tons of flat steel, the company said.
ArcelorMittal has already implemented short working hours at another flat steelmaking facility in Bremen, Germany, starting in July. ArcelorMittal also idled one blast furnace (BF) in France last month, Fastmarkets reported previously.
Slow demand for flat steel has persisted in European markets since April, with prices on a continuous downtrend until recently.
Despite this, European steelmakers have only recently started to adjust their output.
Notably, Serbia’s sole flat steel producer, Hebei Iron and Steel Serbia, stopped one of its two blast furnaces in July.
Slovakia-based flat steelmaker US Steel Kosice reportedly stopped one of its three BFs in June, although a spokesperson for the company denied the stoppage when contacted by Fastmarkets.
And last week, Liberty Ostrava in the Czech Republic idled one BF for planned maintenance.
Italian steel producers have followed suit.
Arvedi stopped operations at its steelmaking facility in Cremona completely for five weeks from late July, while Acciaierie d’Italia, another major local steelmaker, has stopped one BF in Taranto from July until end-August, several sources told Fastmarkets.
Moreover, several market sources have told Fastmarkets that Acciaierie d’Italia will stop one more BF in August in the face of slow demand and high production costs.
Published by: Julia Bolotova