ArcelorMittal to extend steel output cuts to France, Germany

ArcelorMittal plans to expand steel production cuts in Europe to its plants in Dunkirk, France and Eisenhuttenstadt, Germany, over the fourth quarter, the steelmaker said Wednesday.

The latest reduction comes after ArcelorMittal said it will cut 80,000 mt of steel coil production at its Asturias plant in Spain in July.

In early May, the company announced a reduction of primary steel production in Asturias, citing “an unprecedented rise in imports from outside the EU” amid high energy prices.

The cuts followed an early-May announcement by the company to cut 3 million mt of steel production in 2019 when it revealed a temporary stoppage at Kraków, Poland and reduced production in Asturias. Details about the latest cuts were not disclosed by the company.

Wednesday’s announcement also revealed that ArcelorMittal will “reduce primary steelmaking production at its facility in Bremen, Germany in the fourth quarter of this year, where a planned blast furnace stoppage for repair works will be extended.”

Also, it will extend a planned shutdown in Q4 2019 to repair a blast furnace at its Asturias plant.

“This is again a hard decision for us to have taken, but given the level of weakness in the market, we feel it is the prudent course of action. This will be a temporary measure that will be reversed when market conditions improve,” said Geert van Poelvoorde, CEO of flat products at ArcelorMittal Europe.

— Clement Choo