AK Steel said that the reline of the blast furnace hearth at its Ashland, Kentucky Works was successful and the blast furnace has returned to full production following an approximate 4-week, planned outage for maintenance work. The outage had been planned to occur in 2015 but was advanced to fully address operational issues that began earlier this year.
The company said that the Ashland blast furnace is now operating at its full capacity, which is significantly above pre-outage levels. In addition to the hearth reline, other routine maintenance work was also completed on the blast furnace.
“We are very pleased that the Ashland blast furnace is back on-line and operating well,” said James L. Wainscott, Chairman, President and CEO of AK Steel. “Completion of this outage helps position us to serve our customers’ needs for years to come.”
Chinese steel prices closed flat for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($136.61) and a low price of CNY 840.00 ($136.61) per dry metric ton. Chinese HRC held its value on Thursday at CNY 3,160 ($513.91) per metric ton. At CNY 1,080 ($175.64) per metric ton, the price of Chinese coking coal was essentially unchanged.
The cash price of steel billet saw essentially no change on the LME for the fifth day in a row, remaining around $500.00 per metric ton. The steel billet 3-month price saw little movement on the LME at $480.00 per metric ton.
The US HRC futures contract spot price weakened by 0.6%, settling at $626.00 per short ton. The US HRC futures contract 3-month price saw little change in its price yesterday at $625.00 per short ton.