The world's largest steel maker Arcelor Mittal today announced that that it plans temporary production cutback from its European flat carbon steel mills in response to "short-term developments" in the steel market.
In a statement the company said that it plans to delay restarting one of its blast furnaces in Dunkirk (France) by two weeks in the fourth quarter, and also anticipates scheduled maintenance work on one of its blast furnaces in Avilès (Spain).
The blast furnaces will be idle in the first quarter of 2007, ahead of the initial schedule. "These moves take place in a market environment marked by stable demand and increasing inventory levels," the statement said.
According to Christophe Cornier, Arcelor Mittal executive vice president, flat carbon steel, Europe, "During the first half of 2006, strong supply replenished inventories in the market. The delay in restarting the unit in Dunkirk and the idling of the Avilès blast furnace will help to balance inventories throughout the steel value chain and maintain sustainable relationships with our customers in a market in which underlying demand continues to be healthy."
Arcelor Mittal has operations in 60 countries and will be incorporated as one unit in 2007 following the successful acquisition by Mittal Steel of Arcelor SA, then the World''s number one and number two steel companies respectively.