Liberty Steel allays European mills’ HRC supply fears

Liberty Steel tells Kallanish its coil rolling mills in the Benelux and Italy have solved the issue of hot rolled coil supply shortages using the normal commercial dispute procedure.

Sources mentioned last week that ArcelorMittal stopped supplying HRC to Liberty Steel’s Magona and Liege-Dudelange rolling mills. Trade unions at the Liege-Dudelange site subsequently expressed serious concern over the future of the Benelux rolling mills.

“We can confirm a temporary issue with one of our HRC suppliers to Liberty Liege-Dudelange and Liberty Magona has been successfully concluded using our normal commercial dispute procedures,” a Liberty spokesperson says.

Authorities in Europe have been quick to respond to unions’ concerns, expressing their support. In Luxembourg, for example, where part of the Liege-Dudelange unit is located, the local government told unions they are ready to give support to the plant in case of liquidity problems or temporary layoffs.

Earlier last week other European governments, such as in France, also expressed their intention to support the local units of the Liberty Steel group if problems escalate.

The resurfacing issues of supply at Liberty Steel’s coil rolling units are set to bring further uncertainty to an already tight coil market in the continent, particularly for hot-dip galvanized coil. Back in early December, Liberty confirmed delivery delays from Magona and Liege-Dudelange as a consequence of supply issues. New delays could arise in the coming months, sources comment.

Emanuele Norsa Italy