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Keywell temporarily idles three scrap facilities

Keywords: Tags  Keywell, plant closures, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, stainless scrap, scrap demand, scrap prices Daniel Fitzgerald

NEW YORK — Keywell LLC has temporarily shut three scrap metal processing facilities due to continued weakness in scrap demand.

"We have temporarily shut our Detroit, Atlanta and Chicago facilities while stainless demand remains weak. We continue to fully operate in Los Angeles; West Mifflin, Pa.; Fairless Hills, Pa.; Frewsburg, N.Y. (two facilities); and Top Hill, N.C. (two facilities)," a company source told AMM. "It’s basically a summer shutdown and hopefully demand picks up sooner vs. later."

All of the temporarily shuttered facilities process aerospace-grade scrap metals, including stainless and specialty steels. The Chicago-based company couldn’t be reached for further comment.

Demand for stainless scrap has fallen off sharply in recent months, along with pricing, sources have said—a trend that has been exacerbated by the traditional summer slowdown in business activity (, June 18).

However, stainless scrap market participants expressed doubt that the Keywell closures would have any real effect on free-market prices.

"I think the ramifications are difficult to foresee. If nothing else, it should reinforce the truth in the marketplace of how tough it is currently. There are some people that think it’s one of these things and we’ll snap right back to it, but it’s a little more painful than that," one scrap processor told AMM July 1.

"The potential impact is that more cautiousness has to be expressed in the stainless market," a second processor said. "Pricing is a separate issue altogether. It’s just indicating that stainless is a difficult business in difficult times."

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