ArcelorMittal Brazil has stopped operating the No.3 Blast Furnace (BF) at its Tubarão unit in Espírito Santo, Brazil for 45 days starting March 27.
A company spokesperson told Davis Index that the steelmaker took the decision after weighing the national and international economic scenarios due to COVID-19’s impact and determining the markets that have shown low demand for steel due to the pandemic.
The global steelmaker has taken similar steps at some of its European plants in compliance with the lockdowns imposed by various governments to contain COVID-19’s spread. Most recently, the company halted production at its three mills in Luxembourg followed by a reduction of output at its Ukraine plant.
ArcelorMittal’s Tubarão facility has an annual production capacity of 7.5mn tons of steel in slabs and hot-rolled coils, according to data on the company’s website. In 2019, steel shipments at ArcelorMittal Brazil decreased by 2.4pc to 11.2mn tonnes (10.1mn mt), compared to the prior year.
Apart from ArcelorMittal, Brazilian steelmakers and iron ore miners such as Usiminas, Gerdau and Vale have also taken steps to reduce or shutdown production in compliance with COVID-19 shutdowns imposed by the government.
Brazil’s crude steel output dropped by 1.3pc to 2.7mn mt in February compared with the same month in 2019.