Major US steelmaker US Steel expects two of its blast furnaces and a US rolling mill, which have been temporarily suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, will remain idle until at least the end of 2020 as the company remains focused on saving money and liquidity.
US Steel previously announced the relaunch of blast furnaces # 6 and # 8 in Indiana due to increased steel demand from customers.
“Our decision to restart blast furnaces is not speculative,” said Kevin Lewis, vice president of investor relations at US Steel. "The demand we see in our order book supports these relaunches and comes from the fixed contracts we have with customers ... There is really nothing speculative about how our company has responded to the return of demand from our customers."
CEO David Burritt said the Minnesota iron ore company will remain suspended indefinitely.
Given the concerns over the coronavirus, US Steel remains focused on boosting costs and preserving cash, Berritt said, adding that the company is actively selling non-core assets.
US Steel on Friday reported a net loss of $ 589 million on sales of $ 2.09 billion in the second quarter, compared with a net profit of $ 68 million on sales of $ 3.55 billion a year earlier.