ArcelorMittal has declared force majeure on shipments from its Fos-sur-Mer plant in France because of strike action at the Port of Marseilles.
Workers at the port are striking against proposed pension reforms, alongside many others.
In a note sent to customers, the chief market officer for industry at ArcelorMittal Flat Europe, Antoine Van Schooten, said: “Pursuant to article 9 of our ArcelorMittal FCE General conditions of sales, we shall thus notably be entitled to additional time to perform our contractual undertaking as may be reasonably necessary, and shall have the right to apportion our production among our customers in such manner as we may deem equitable.”
The letter was sent on 20 January and could support European coil prices, as the vast majority of mills push their offers up substantially. Most offers in northwest Europe are €480-500/t ex-works, and it is likely that they will increase for second-quarter production and deliveries.
ArcelorMittal also started telling customers yesterday that it will be relining blast furnace B at its Ghent works in Belgium, as reported by Argus.
By Colin Richardson