ArcelorMittal France has declared force majeure and is reducing production at its flat products’ plants in France. “This decision follows the current sharp slowdown in the steel market, as well as the interruption of activity by certain customers and suppliers, despite the continuing strong demand in segments such as packaging steels (cans in particular),” ArcelorMittal says in a note sent to Kallanish.
At Fos-sur-Mer in southern France ArcelorMittal will shut down a blast furnace, converter and continuous casting line. For an initial period of 7 days, the strip mill at Fos and downstream finishing lines at Fos and the Saint-Chély-d’Apcher plant will also be idled. This reduction in activity that started gradually on 19 March will continue until further notice.
In northern France, ArcelorMittal has shut down a blast furnace and converter in Dunkirk from 23 March. “This will reduce the need for coke sooner than expected and the impact on the Florange coking plant will have to be reassessed. The number of cold rolling lines remaining in operation and the number of stations per line will be adjusted. Our workforce will be reduced to the minimum necessary on each plant concerned while ensuring market demand,” the company says.