Slovakia’s US Steel Kosice temporarily idles a second blast furnace

Slovakian steelmaker US Steel Kosice has shut down a second blast furnace until early 2023, a spokesperson for parent company US Steel confirmed to S&P Global Commodity Insights Dec. 7.

“US Steel Kosice made the decision to temporarily idle blast furnace 1 on Dec. 2 as a result of very high energy prices, low market demand and surging imports,” the spokesperson said, adding that the company expected to resume operations at the beginning of 2023.

US Steel Kosice previously idled its BF2 on Sept. 4 for 60 days, keeping BF1 and BF3 operational.

At the time, the company described the BF2 idling as a planned outage and said it would continue to adjust maintenance schedules according to demand.

US Steel Kosice has a crude steel production capacity of 4.5 million mt/year.

A number of European steelmakers have cut production in recent months to realign supply and demand.

Platts, part of S&P Global, assessed domestic HRC prices in Northern Europe at Eur615/mt ex-works Ruhr Dec. 6, down 33.3% since the start of 2022.

— Jacqueline Holman, Maria Tanatar