ArcelorMittal has this week restarted blast furnace 5A at its at its Eisenhüttenstadt steelworks in eastern Germany, after a six-week period of planned maintenance.
The furnace, which was idled on May 20 for planned repairs, has an annual capacity to produce about 1.7 million tonnes of pig iron.
“It was necessary to replace internal cooling plates, among other things,” the company said.
The Eisenhüttenstadt steelworks produces hot-rolled coil (2.1 million tpy), cold-rolled coil (1.9 million tpy), hot-dipped galvanized coil (950,000 tpy) and color-coated coil (145,000 tpy).
Market participants have suggested the company carried out the maintenance in the usually high-selling May-June period to reduce upstream steel production and to bring supply and demand into balance.
Flat steel prices have been falling across Europe since early April, mainly due to high inventories at distributors and steel service centers amid reduced demand from end-users, notably from the automotive industry.
The pace of decline in hot-rolled coil prices has slowed over the past week with prices said to be near the bottom.
Fastmarkets calculated its daily steel HRC index, domestic, ex-works Northern Europe at €847.50 ($884.12) per tonne on Tuesday, down by just €0.83 per tonne from €848.33 per tonne on Monday.
The index was down by €3.50 per tonne week on week and by €151.50 per tonne month on month.
Published by: Julia Bolotova