SSAB to idle another blast furnace in weak EU market

Swedish steelmaker SSAB will idle another blast furnaces at its Raahe steelworks in Finland at the end of November to achieve further cost and capacity reductions, the company said during the presentation of its earnings.

The BF has 1.3 million mt of annual capacity and the stoppage will be for four to six weeks at least, with the company deciding when to restart based on market conditions, an SSAB spokesman told S&P Global Platts.

SSAB Raahe has another BF with capacity of 1.3 million mt/year that will continue to run, the company confirmed to Platts.

SSAB since mid-September has idled a small BF with capacity of 500,000 mt/year at its Swedish plant in Oxelosund. The spokesperson confirmed that a restart date for this BF is linked to market conditions as well. In Oxelosund the company is running a second BF that has a capacity of 1 million mt/year.

In Europe SSAB has five BFs in total, the biggest of which is in Sweden with a capacity of 2.5 million mt/year.

For the SSAB Group as a whole, crude steel production of 1.9 million mt during the third quarter was down 1% from Q3 2018 production, and down 9% compared with the second quarter of 2019.

— Annalisa Villa