Steelmaker ArcelorMittal confirms Dunkirk blast furnace halted from July 12

A 1.5 million mt capacity blast furnace at ArcelorMittal’s Dunkirk, France, steelworks is being idled July 12, following a run down of operations, a company spokesperson said.

The furnace is being shut due to weak market conditions, S&P Global Commodity Insights previously reported. The closure will leave hot metal capacity of 5.7 million mt/year operational at the site.

The furnace’s expected restart date has not yet been announced.

European steelmakers Acciaierie d’Italia and HBIS Serbia have announced other blast furnace closures in recent days.

Platts assessed hot-rolled coil in Northern Europe at Eur850/mt ex-works Ruhr July 11, stable since July 6, according to data from S&P Global.

The HRC price has stabilized after several months of downtrend. The falling price trend in Europe since late March is seen to have come to an end due to a change of approach by domestic mills that stopped giving discounts to stimulate buying and instead started reducing production to balance supply and demand, market sources said.

Steel demand from the automotive industry has been below usual levels, with continuing component shortages limiting production.

— Diana Kinch