The epidemic situation of new coronary pneumonia in foreign countries is becoming more and more serious. Affected by the COVID-19 situation, global steel mills have reduced their output of production, and some foreign steel companies have taken measures to stop production and reduce production.
1. Brazilian steel companies have successively closed blast furnaces
Gerdau (Gerdau) announced on April 3 the production cut plan. It said it would shut down a blast furnace with an annual capacity of 1.5 million tons, and the remaining blast furnace with an annual capacity of 3 million tons. Earlier, Geldau suspended the operation of the Charqueadas electric furnace plant for 15 days.
Usiminas (Usinas Siderurgicasde Minas Gerais), a steel producer, said it would shut down two more blast furnaces and only keep one blast furnace in operation, for a total of four blast furnaces. Currently, Usiminas Steel’s annual production capacity is approximately 2.35 million tons.
Arcelor Mittal (Arcelor Mittal) will shut down its No. 3 blast furnace at the Tubarão steel plant in Sao Espirituto, Brazil. It is reported that the annual crude steel production capacity of No. 3 blast furnace is 2.8 million tons. The company said that it is currently uncertain how long the blast furnace will be shut down and will make adjustment decisions based on market conditions.
2. ThyssenKrupp to cut steel production
According to foreign media reports, on April 2, Beijing time, Germany’s largest steel producer Thyssenkrupp (Thyssenkrupp) said that due to the impact of the new coronavirus, the company is cutting steel production.
A spokesperson for ThyssenKrupp European Steel said in an email: “In view of the current economic impact of COVID-19, we are adjusting the production line. This includes the operation of the blast furnace and steel processing.”
The company also said that it may further reduce production, but has not disclosed specific figures. The working hours of production staff and management staff will be reduced, and this process will be expected to begin in mid-April and continue until early May.
3. Japan Steel Corporation shut down 8.1 million tons of production capacity
Japan Steel Manufacturing said on Tuesday that it will idle two blast furnaces in eastern and western parts of Japan to cope with the decline in demand for steel in cars and buildings during the coronavirus pandemic.
Japan’s Iron and Steel Corporation said that the No. 1 blast furnace at the Kashima Plant in Ibaraki Prefecture will be discontinued in mid-April, and the No. 1 blast furnace at the Wakayama Plant in Wakayama Prefecture will be discontinued in the same month. The combined capacity of the two blast furnaces is 15% of the company’s total capacity (54 million tons of crude steel capacity), totaling 8.1 million tons.
The company also said that starting this month, its employees will work in headquarters and domestic steel plants and other places, a total of about 30,000 employees, will take another two days off every month.
Previously, Japan Iron & Steel announced in February that it would shut down its steel plant and some blast furnaces in Kure, West Hiroshima, Japan.
4. European Viohalco suspends its steel business
According to foreign media reports, on March 30, Viohalco SA announced that its subsidiary in the Greek steel business Sidenor SA, Sovel SA, Erlikon SA, Praksys SA and Etil SA will be temporarily from April 2 to May 3 The operation will be suspended for a month, and its administrative staff will work flexibly. During the above period, the business activities and raw material delivery of these subsidiaries will not be affected.
Due to the continued weak demand in the international steel market and the current situation of the new coronary pneumonia epidemic that has caused the company to deteriorate rapidly, the company made these decisions.
Viohalco SA (VIO) is a Belgian holding company and one of Europe’s leading metal processing companies. Its subsidiaries are located in many European countries. Its annual revenue in 2019 is 4.19 billion euros (4.6 billion US dollars).
5. India SAIL will suspend operations of its Bhilai steel plant
According to foreign media reports, due to concerns about the COVID-19 epidemic, the Bhilai steel plant of the Indian Iron and Steel Administration (SAIL) has temporarily suspended production on March 28. For this reason, the production of rail steel has stalled.
6. India RINL closes a blast furnace in Visakhapatnam
According to foreign media reports, affected by the epidemic, the Indian state-owned steel manufacturer RINL has closed one of its blast furnaces at the Visakhapatnam steel plant on March 29.
RINL has an annual production capacity of more than 7.5 million tons. The average daily hot metal production of three blast furnaces is about 180,000 tons. After closing one blast furnace, the average daily output will be reduced to 120,000 tons.
It is reported that the raw materials available at the steel plant can only maintain the operation of two blast furnaces. If the epidemic continues, it will not be able to maintain normal operations. In addition, 50% of the company’s employees are at home, and steel mill operations are also restricted.
7. U.S. Steel will idle Garry Steel’s No. 4 blast furnace indefinitely
U.S. Steel originally planned to idle Gary Works’s No. 4 blast furnace for 48 days in April, and now decides to immediately idle the blast furnace indefinitely in response to the spread of the global epidemic.
The company also idled the blast furnace No. A in the Granite City Works (Granite City Works), and indefinitely idled the steelmaking equipment of the Great Lakes Works.
The company also decided to idle the Lone Star Tubular Operations in Texas and the Lorain Tubular Operations in Ohio at the end of May, and lay off 850 jobs in these two places people.
U.S. Steel plans to reduce its capital expenditures by US $ 125 million in 2020, and the post-reduction capital expenditures will be US $ 750 million. It will delay the construction of equipment at the MonValley steel plant and suspend the upgrade of the flat steel hot rolled strip line at Gary Steel.