ArcelorMittal says Spanish transport strike hitting steel production

ArcelorMittal has halted more units at Gijon, Spain as the result of a transport workers’ strike, the company said March 17.

The action has caused ArcelorMittal to halt the finishing lines due to lack of supplies, although the unit. would remain on standby, it said.

Other units have already been halted at the site including the cold-rolling mill, annealing and finishing among others, while the sheet and galvanizing lines might be obliged to halt this weekend, the company noted.

A strike by transport workers that started March 14 has seen its impact increase towards the end of the week.

For steel companies, “the [strike] situation is compounding the negative impact of record high energy prices this year,” steel industry group Unesid said March 16.

ArcelorMittal and its steel market competitors have been obliged to carry out a series of temporary halts since the end of 2021 in function of the prevailing power price.

ArcelorMittal recently halted its smelter and around half the units at Gijon (4.5 million mt/year hot metal capacity) for five days as gas and power prices spiked to all-time highs.

It previously halted the country’s largest electric arc furnace at Olaberria (2.45 million mt/year) March 8.

On March 9, stainless steelmaker Acerinox reduced production at its 1.1 million mt/year Campo de Gibraltar, Spain plant while Unesid reported reduced rates or halts for other producers Megasa (3 million mt/year capacity), Grupo Celsa (2.5 million mt/year capacity), and Siderurgica Balboa (1.3 million mt/year) among others.

— Gianluca Baratti