ArcelorMittal posts 7% fall in Q1 crude steel output over Ukraine war

ArcelorMittal manufactured 16.3 million mt of crude steel in the first quarter of 2022, down 7.4% year on year and 1.2% lower quarter on quarter, the Luxembourg-based steelmaker said May 5.

The company’s first-quarter performance was overshadowed by the war in Ukraine, CEO Aditya Mittal said, as crude steel output fell 9% on year to 2.5 million mt in Q1 for its ACIS division, “primarily due to the suspension of production in Ukraine.”

ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih shut its blast furnaces at the onset of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. On April 11, it restarted one out of three furnaces, BF No. 6, with low levels of pig iron production, running at about 50%-60% of capacity.

ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih was due to have a new 5 million mt/year pellet plant built with production slated for Q4 2023 but the completion date “will depend on when the project can be effectively resumed due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” ArcelorMittal said.

“We now forecast a significant contraction in demand in the CIS region, which includes Commonwealth of Independent States and Ukraine, by more than -10%, from the previous range of +0% to +2%,” ArcelorMittal said.

For its European operations, ArcelorMittal cited stable Q1 crude steel production of 8.67 million mt against 8.62 million mt in Q4, but down 10.4% from 9.70 million mt in Q1 2021. The annual fall was due to the formation of a public-private partnership between Invitalia and AM InvestCo Italy, renamed Acciaierie d’Italia Holding in April 2021, during which ArcelorMittal “deconsolidated the assets and liabilities.”

For its NAFTA operations, ArcelorMittal projected that a new 1.5 million mt/year electric arc furnace at its AM/NS Calvert venture in Alabama will be completed in the second half of FY 2022-23 instead of the first half. ArcelorMittal is considering an option to add 1.5 million mt/year of capacity to AM/NS Calvert, a 50-50 joint venture between ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel Corp.

— Clement Choo