[Ferro-Alloys.com] ArcelorMittal Poland will begin the temporary closure of its blast furnace and steel plant in Krakow on November 23, the company said Tuesday.
"Our three blast furnaces are now working at their technological minimum so we cannot reduce production volumesany further. As the situation on the steel market continues to deteriorate and the outlook remains gloomy, we regrettably have no choice but to temporarily idle the blast furnace in Krakow," the company's CEO Geert Verbeeck said in a statement.
In July, the company postponed the closure scheduled for September following protests from labor unions. Following the postponement, the company reduced the capacity utilization of three blast furnaces, two in Dabrowa Gornicza and one in Krakow.
ArcelorMittal Poland said it had previously idled the blast furnace and steel shop in Krakow, between August 2010 and March 2011, and that they were later restarted, once the market improved.
The company said the decision was necessary due to global steel overcapacity exceeding 400 million mt and falling steel demand. "Manufacturing, particularly the auto industry, has perfumed poorly, contracting in many EU countries - in Germany production of passenger cars declined by as much as 11%. This market contraction and the global overcapacity are putting additional pressure on prices of finished goods in an environment in which prices of raw materials, notably iron ore, remain high," Verbeeck added.
The company said it plans to restart the blast furnace and steel shop in Krakow once market conditions improve. (S&G Global Platts)
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