This Morning in Metals: Great Lakes region steel production plunges

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This morning in metals news, Great Lakes steel production plummets, Northshore Mining on Minnesota’s Iron Range is being idled through August and the Pilbara Ports Authority recently reported March port data.
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Great Lakes region sees drop in steel production

Steel production in the Great Lakes region took a dive last week, falling by 119,000 tons — or 21.6%, the Northwest Indiana Times reported.
The drop marked the third straight week of production declines in the region, according to the report.

Northshore Mining to idle

Northshore Mining, owned by Cleveland-Cliffs, will be idled through August.
The mine has a planned restart of August, according to Cleveland-Cliffs. The Tilden mine will also be idled, with a planned restart of July.
“The constantly evolving COVID-19 situation has been an ongoing backdrop for the actions we have taken to keep our employees and our Company healthy for the long term,” said Lourenco Goncalves, Cleveland-Cliffs chairman, president and CEO. “With these goals in mind, we have made several adjustments to our operating profile and workplace safety procedures. Automotive manufacturing has always been the backbone of the Cleveland-Cliffs business, even before the acquisition of AK Steel. As such, we have performed stress tests of our liquidity in the most extreme scenarios imaginable to us, which includes a prolonged demand outage and irrational prices for iron ore and hot rolled steel. After performing these stress tests, we have concluded that we are very comfortable with our forward looking liquidity position.”

Port Hedland throughput up 29%

Australia’s Pilbara Ports Authority recently reported port data for the month of March, noting total throughput increased 27% compared with March 2019 throughput.
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Port Hedland, the critical iron ore terminal, saw throughput jump 29%, with iron ore accounting for 46.7 million of the 47.2 million tons of exports from the port.

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