Pittsburgh-based steel company United States Steel Corporation (US Steel) has announced the relaunch of its # 1 blast furnace in the Moon Valley. The oven returned to work after shutting down due to a halt in Covid-19 production throughout the country. This is the first blast furnace to announce the resumption of production.
The blast furnace was shut down at the end of April this year, along with blast furnace No. 6 at the Gary Works steel mill. The company has suspended operations in five of its eight blast furnaces in the country.
Meanwhile, several market participants questioned the company’s decision to restart the kiln at this time, unsure of the increased demand to consume the additional tonnes produced by the kiln.
Meanwhile, AK Steel plans to restart its blast furnace at its Dearbon, Michigan steel mill in July, driven largely by increased demand from the auto industry. The smelting shop, which is scheduled to begin operations in mid-July, will produce slabs instead of hot rolled coils (HRC). The relaunch comes amid forecasts by AutoForecast Solutions that global car production is likely to decline 26% within a year.