Thyssenkrupp says force majeure lifted for most of its steel sites affected by floods

Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe lifted its force majeure Aug. 6 after the easing of logistics problems caused by floods in July, but kept its declaration at Thyssenkrupp Precision Steel, a company spokesman confirmed to S&P Global Platts.

The transport logistics have “stabilized” now as transport via rail has been reestablished, though not at all sites, the company spokesman said. The Thyssenkrupp Precision Steel site in Hagen-Hohenlimburg is continuing its force majeure as signal boxes of the rail network have not yet been repaired.

Thyssenkrupp declared force majeure July 16 following the intense flooding in Germany’s Rhine-Ruhr region as it was unable to deliver pre-material between the company’s sites. Steel deliveries to customers were also disrupted. Parts of Hagen, where several steel companies are located, were severely affected. Cold-roller Bilstein also declared force majeure July 14.

Thyssenkrupp also had to shut its Schwelgern blast furnace No. 2 for a “brief period” in the beginning of July following a trigger of a safety valve. Thyssenkrupp was unable to give a production loss figure. The major reline of blast furnace No. 1 also started in July.

Sources reported not only steel shipment disruption due to flooding, but also several converter problems at steel producers such as Tata Steel and semis producer HKM. Though isolated incidents, sources suggested they accumulate and intensify the current material tightness in the market that kept steel prices elevated on record highs this year. The daily Platts assessment for hot-rolled coil EXW Ruhr stood at Eur1156/mt on Aug. 6, seeing some downturn during the summer period but up Eur491/mt since the beginning of the year.

Sources said that Tata Steel Netherlands had a converter issue recently that led to a significant number of production volume loss of around 100,000 mt. Tata Steel did not comment on the matter when asked by Platts for verification. A source close to the company told Platts that the loss was not “far off” from the 100,000 mt. Another source close to the company said that it did not affect any customers.

HKM did not respond to Platts’ request for comment.

— Laura Varriale