Tata and ThyssenKrupp to reduce output

Tata has not idled any blast furnaces across its Port Talbot and IJmuiden sites in the UK and the Netherlands, despite reducing production because of lower demand.

The company appears to be slowing to the lowest technical minimum level possible in the UK, and is mulling a potential furnace stoppage as well as the hot idling of coke ovens.

German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp will also cut production because of the drop in demand caused by the coronavirus crisis, and because its “top priority” is the health of its employees, it told Argus.

Smaller Austrian producer Voestalpine said yesterday that it was idling a blast furnace at its Linz site because of the collapse in demand from its customer base, and was implementing short-time working.

Meanwhile, German steelmaker Salzgitter is cutting strip production as well as crude steel output, it said.

The company had earlier said that it would reduce blast furnace output. No blast furnace will be idled, but output will be scaled back across all units. And it will reduce rolling mill and coating line output “in accordance to the market development and the availability of staff”, the company said today.

Salzgitter will “monitor the situation closely” to see if any furnaces need to be idled, it said. The company’s blast furnace three was closed last year.

By Colin Richardson