French crude steel output increased by 33.3pc to 963kt (963,000mt) in September from 722kt in August, according to the World Steel Association data.

 

This increase was largely driven by the resumption of output from ArcelorMittal Europe’s blast furnace ironmaking facilities in Dunkerque. The company restarted one of its two idled blast furnaces (BF3) at its Dunkerque facility in late August to compensate for outages at its Ghent and Poland operations. As a result, French pig iron production jumped by 22.9pc to 662kt in September compared with 538kt the prior month.

 

French crude steel output dropped by 26.8pc to a total of 8.2mn mt through the first nine months of 2020 from 11.2mn mt during the same period last year.

 

Pig iron production declined by 29.3pc to 5.4mn mt between January and September 2020 from 7.7mn mt through the first three quarters in 2019.

 

Looking forward, local pig iron output will continue to increase in the next few months given that ArcelorMittal also returned its Fos-Sur-Mer blast furnace #1 to operation in late September.

 

According to ArcelorMittal, the Fos-sur-Mer facility produced more than 3.84mn mt of crude steel in the full year of 2019 compared with a slated operational capacity of 4.6mn mt per annum.

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