COVID-19 could have a lasting impact on the American steel market

As recently as March 13, the headline of one industry report read: “Coronavirus is not yet affecting US steel production.” Just five days later, the follow-up story was published: “The Big Three American Automakers Stopped Production in North America.”

According to S&P Global Platts, Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler, among others, cut production, excluding about 33,000 vehicles per day and an estimated 1.5 million tonnes of steel consumption between March 18 and May 18.

Anticipating the impact of reduced vehicle production and further declines in recycling demand, manufacturers ArcelorMittal and US Steel announced the decommissioning of blast furnaces for more than 10 million tonnes of lost annual capacity in the domestic market.

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