The world's largest steel maker ArcelorMittal and Corus are preparing to start some of their idled capacity as demand for steel show marginal signs of recovery after most of their customers cleared piled up inventory.
ArcelorMittal intends to restart its idled steel plant at Gijón in Spain and two in the US, that includes a blast furnace, while it restarts the blast furnaces at Indiana and Cleveland plants in the US over the next two months.
Similarly, the Luxembourg-based steelmaker said that it was responding to customer needs and is restarting six of the sixteen plants it had mothballed late last year. (See: Slowdown forces ArcelorMittal to cut output by up to 35 per cent)
Tim Rutter, head of communications for Corus Strip Products UK, told the UK media that demand was picking up marginally but was cautious on it being sustained over the long-term. He said that the inventory at Corus service centres in the UK was close to exhaustion.
Corus, Europe's second largest steel maker and European subsidiary of Tata Steel, says it will restart its Newport, South Wales-based Llanwern hot strip mill next month, which it had mothballed in January 20089 as part of its global restructuring due to the collapsed demand for steel. (See: Corus sheds 3,500 jobs)
At that time, Corus had axed 528 workers from the Llanwern mill but retained 750, of which 500 are working directly in manufacturing.