ArcelorMittal Blames Cheap Imports for Closing of Georgetown, S.C. Steel Mill

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Cold-rolled steel

Another domestic steel plant closing has been blamed on cheap imports and a major steelmaker in India took a big write-down for similar reasons.

ArcelorMittal Shut Down

ArcelorMittal is permanently closing its money-losing Georgetown, S.C., mill, delivering a blow to the local economy, the Charleston Post and Courier reported.

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The company said the shutdown will be completed by Sept. 30 and 226 workers there will lose their jobs.
Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal blamed “challenging market conditions facing the USA business,” which uses electric arc furnaces to make wire rod used in the automotive and construction industries.
In the press release announcing the closure, ArcelorMittal also said the mill “has been severely impacted by waves of unfairly traded steel imports from China and other countries.”
ArcelorMittal previously shut down the Georgetown operation in 2009. It reopened in early 2011 after negotiating pay cuts and other cost-saving measures with employees.
“Despite our joint efforts and a highly productive workforce, the facility has incurred significant losses since the restart due to high input costs and imports,” P.S. Venkat, CEO of ArcelorMittal Long Carbon North America, told the Post and Courier.

Tata Steel Has Long Product Woes, Too

Tata Steel Ltd. slumped in Mumbai after India’s largest producer of the alloy wrote off its long-products business in the UK.

The shares fell as much as 3.1% to 355.10 rupees and traded at 359 rupees as of 9:37 a.m. local time, Bloomberg reported. The stock has declined 10 percent this year, compared with a 0.7% drop in the benchmark S&P BSE Sensitive Index.

The Mumbai-based company expects to take a non-cash impairment of 50 billion rupees ($787 million) for the quarter ended March 31, according to a statement Thursday. That would completely write off the value of the UK long-products business, which Tata Steel is trying to sell to Geneva-based Klesch Group.

Comment (1)

  1. Thomas J Coyne jr says:

    With the lower prices of nat. gas in the U.S., GSC could easily invest funding to upgrade the DRI plant and use the DRI as feed to the EAF and sell the rest for a hefty profit to keep the plant going. Unless Mittal has torn it down or robbed it of too many parts to feed the other DR plants.
    There are also other technologies that could be employed at Georgetown that could save a lot of money in steel making, and operate the plant 100% waste free as well.
    Georgetown, during the Korf days made the highest quality steel rods in the southeast and fed specialty steels for welding rods, for example. What has happened to that market? Imports? I agree with Mittal statements about imports causing the death of our steel mills. But there are a lot of things that can be done to compensate, like the upcoming elections for one. Why are allowing countries like China and India and others send their inferior steels here while they are also totally subsidized from slave labor to raw materials to power and fuels? In 20 or 30 years the use of foreign rods for construction in the U.S. will take their toll when our buildings and bridges start collapsing like is happening over there with the quality of junk our government is forcing us to use, all for their protection of the WTO and campaign fund donations.

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