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SBQ mills set routine summer maintenance

Keywords: Tags  special bar quality products, SBQ, mill maintenance outages, Ted Thielens, Steel Dynamics, Republic Steel, Timken, Gerdau shipment schedule

CHICAGO – No shortfalls are expected in the special bar quality (SBQ) supply chain as a result of the temporary idling of operations by a handful of mills for regular seasonal maintenance, producers and customers said, with some mills already having performed maintenance earlier this year.

Three Timken Co. facilities in the Canton, Ohio, area will experience shutdowns for routine maintenance this summer, a spokeswoman told AMM. "We expect the Gambrinus and Harrison steel plants to conduct their shutdown from June 30 through July 6. We also expect the Faircrest steel plant will have a similar shutdown (from) Aug. 25 through 31," she said.

Republic Steel won’t perform maintenance at its Canton melt shop, which was upgraded in the first quarter of this year, according to executive vice president Ted Thielens. However, "all bar mills and cold-finishing plants will have their traditional one-week maintenance outages in July," he added.

"With inventories built as needed, our SBQ mills in Monroe and Jackson, Mich., recently completed routine maintenance and we will complete routine maintenance at our mill in Fort Smith, Ark., this month," a spokeswoman at Gerdau Special Steel North America said. "We continue to ship material as scheduled to meet our customers’ expectations."

Cold drawers, bar processors and distributors aren’t concerned about being able to get product.

"There probably won’t be any issues," one national bar distributor based in the Southeast said. "I did expect to see some plant shutdowns across the board outside of automotive grades."

"We have heard some producers may take longer maintenance outages because I don’t think they are extremely busy," a Midwest bar processor said. Neither he nor the national distributor had received formal notices of mill outages, however.

"It is an odd market right now," a Great Lakes cold reducer said. "You can get steel made in three weeks. There are holes in mill schedules (that one can exploit) when you have a need for quick turnaround."

Separately, Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Steel Dynamics Inc.’s July scrap surcharge, at $255.33 per ton ($12.77 per hundredweight), is unchanged from June. Nucor Corp. also left its raw material surcharge unchanged for orders shipping next month.

Neither Nucor nor SDI responded to requests for comment.

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