S&P Global reported that Brazilian steelmaker Companhia Siderurgica Nacional said it could shutdown its blast furnace # 2 at the Volta Redonda steel mill due to weak demand and sufficient inventory to cover sales by the end of the year.
CSN CEO Benjamin Steinbruch said: “From a production standpoint, it makes sense to stop. It makes sense because it will allow us to sell more iron ore, use less pellets and be less dependent on external coke. ”
CSN expects steel production costs to decrease if blast furnace # 2 is shut down, as blast furnace # 3 underwent a major overhaul last year, resulting in lower operating costs.
Blast furnace # 2 accounts for 30% of the company’s 5.6 million tonnes of steel, while furnace # 3 accounts for 70%.
While steel demand is weak due to weaker car sales and slow demand for home appliances, CSN plans to raise steel prices by 10-12% in June in Brazil, given the significant devaluation of the Brazilian real against the US dollar this year. [: ]