ArcelorMittal restarts long steel production in Poland, Bosnia

Global steelmaking corporation ArcelorMittal has resumed operations at two European steel plants, the company told Fastmarkets on Thursday January 11.

Earlier this month, ArcelorMittal restarted the rolling lines at its wire rod mill in Sosnowiec, Poland, following almost two weeks of downtime. But the facility is operating at a reduced rate, because the demand for wire rod in the country was still subdued, Fastmarkets understands.

“Demand [for wire rod in Poland] is still very weak. There is no restocking, and no demand from construction or any other sector,” a distributor said.

“We restarted the wire rod mill in Sosnowiec on January 2, following a 12-day stoppage,” an ArcelorMittal Poland spokesperson told Fastmarkets. “The mill is still operating a three-shift system, with some employees continuing work at the Dabrowa Gornicza rolling mills.”

In November, ArcelorMittal Poland announced plans to trim its output due to the poor market conditions. The company explained at the time that it intended to undertake two stoppages. The first one ran from November 18 until November 26, while the second was from the end of December until January 2.

The Sosnowiec plant can produce 750,000 tonnes per year of wire rod from two lines, according to Fastmarkets’ information.

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel wire rod (drawing quality), domestic, delivered Poland, was 2,900-3,100 zloty per tonne ($731-781) on January 5. This was unchanged since December 8, despite attempts by local mills to push for a price rise.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for ArcelorMittal Zenica (Bosnia and Herzegovina) told Fastmarkets that the plant was in a preparatory phase for the restart of production.

“If everything goes according to plan in the field, we expect the start-up of the blast furnace in the next few days, followed by the successive start-up of other production facilities,” the spokesperson said.

In November, ArcelorMittal Zenica, located in the Zenica-Doboj canton in the center of Bosnia and Herzegovina, announced that it had temporarily idled its blast furnace, and production was gradually suspended at the rolling lines as well in the face of deteriorating market conditions.

The company explained that it would resume operations when market conditions normalized.

According to Fastmarkets’ information, ArcelorMittal Zenica has a blast furnace with capacity for 1.10 million tpy, and a basic oxygen furnace with capacity for 1.14 million tpy. The plant produces about 800,000 tpy of steel rebar and wire rod.