ArcelorMittal to shut BF, sinter line at Dunkirk plant

ArcelorMittal announced plans to shut down blast furnace No. 3, a sinter line and two galvanizing lines at its plant in Dunkirk, France, the steelmaker said Sept. 2.

Shutdown of BF No. 3 will be an addition to the temporarily closure of BF No. 2, effective since July this year.

The decision was made due to the continuing week demand in European market and it “is taking measures to adapt to the economic situation on its flat steel sites in the northern half of France,” the company said in a statement.

The production cuts aim to balance reduced demand and supply.

Surging energy and emission costs have also hampered competitiveness of the producer in the bearish market.

On Sept. 2, ArcelorMittal already announced plans to temporarily shut two blast furnaces at the end of the month — one of its Bremen plant in Germany and the Gijon plant in Spain.

Platts assessed HRC in Northwest Europe at Eur755/mt ex-works Ruhr Sept. 2, down Eur5/mt day on day. In Northern Europe, deals were reported at Eur740-760/mt ex-works Ruhr. Although prices were substantially below official offers of Eur800/mt ex-works Ruhr, they also showed a rise of Eur40-60/mt from the lowest transactions settled in the second half of August.

Demand for coil products in Europe remained low due to sufficient stocks with distributors and weak steel consumption by automotive industry and other end users. Market participants anticipated the mills to further cut production to achieve price rise.

— Maria Tanatar