ThyssenKrupp denies blast furnace halts

German steel producer ThyssenKrupp said it is not planning to idle any blast furnaces

Discussions at industry events in Turkey’s Istanbul and Germany’s Stuttgart over the past few days focused on the likelihood of an impending announcement from ThyssenKrupp about crude steel production cuts at its Duisburg site.

“There are currently no plans to idle one of our blast furnaces”, a company spokesperson told Argus. Senior executives at several other steel mills said ThyssenKrupp management were talking about the possibility of blast furnaces shutting, or crude steel production cuts.

The company has four blast furnaces at its Duisburg site, two larger and two smaller units, with a crude steel production capacity of around 13mn t/yr. Some market participants suggested it could reduce output across multiple furnaces rather than shutting one.

Many European mills, led by ArcelorMittal, have reduced crude production given the difficult market environment. ThyssenKrupp’s domestic competitor Salzgitter has already decided to shut a 600,000 t/yr furnace. Nordic steel producer SSAB has also shut two furnaces, equating to a reduction of 1.8mn t/yr, while not ruling out the possibility of closing a larger furnace and bringing back the smaller, should the market weaken further. SSAB has crude steel production capacity of 4.9mn t/yr.