IRON and STEEL
ArcelorMittal Spain is to cut flat steel output in the near term because of reduced automotive demand.
"Many of our customers, especially in the automotive sector, are already stopping their activity due to the impact of the coronavirus, and therefore we need to adapt our production to that situation," the company said
After discussions with unions, the firm is to reduce production at its Asturias, Sagunto and Sestao plants. The blast furnace at Asturias and facilities in Sestao will halt in the coming days, while the Aviles steel shop will work at half capacity. Galvanising lines at Asturias and Sagunto will be suspended.
Seat, Nissan, Volkswagen, Ford, Renault and many other carmakers have ceased activity in recent weeks amid the continued spread of the virus.
Long product producers are less affected significantly, but likely to follow suit as the situation is not expected to improve soon. "We do not expect any production cuts until the circumstances change," a leading long producer said.
Market participants said another long product steelmaker is planning to reduce output. "Catalan politicians are talking about stopping all activities in the country. That is not supported yet, but it may change at any moment", a Spanish trader said.
ArcelorMittal Spain produced 5.4mn t of steel in 2019.