NEW YORK A major winter storm has caused metal
production outages, port closures and a reported overall
reduction in trading activity across the South and Midwest.
While the National Weather Service advised that wintry
precipitation was expected to end across the southeastern
United States on Jan. 29, winter weather advisories remained in
effect for portions of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas,
while hard freeze warnings also remained in effect for the
lower Mississippi Valley and Southeast.
Energy curtailments have forced some producers, such as
Steel Dynamics Inc., to scale back or alter their production
schedules as supply becomes strained and priority is given to
residential customers (amm.com,
One rebar mill in the Ohio Valley told AMM that it was
permitted to resume natural gas consumption on the morning of
Jan. 29, having been down for several days at the request of
its energy supplier. A source at the company estimated that
they had lost roughly one-fourth of production for January as a
result of the idling.
Scrap suppliers and consumers told AMM that flows had been
impacted by the difficult weather, while one steel mill in the
Northeast has reportedly ceased accepting new scrap
Road and rail traffic remain hampered by the icy conditions,
causing extensive delays.
We havent been able to get rail service since
last weekend and our trucks are frozen. No one has time to talk
because we are so far behind, a spokeswoman for ADS
Logistics Co. LLCs Roll & Hold Division, Portage,
Ind., told AMM.
The bigger factor is snow storms during rush hour.
That slows us up quite a bit. When it snows from 4 to 9 a.m.,
the roads are in terrible conditions all day. It makes our
range of delivery (shorten to) within a couple miles (and) puts
us a day behind, said Luke Harned, general manager of
Coon Rapids, Minn.-based aluminum distributor Erickson Metals
of Minnesota Inc.
Some mills, like Outokumpu Stainless USA LLCs Calvert
melt shop, decided to temporarily suspended operations Jan. 29
following advice to stay off the roadways (amm.com,
An aluminum trader told AMM that these delays are causing
trucking costs to spike, with freight rates reportedly doubling
on some routes.
Meanwhile, closures were in effect at the Port of Mobile,
the Port of Charleston and the Port of South Louisiana Jan. 29,
while the Port of New Orleans was running on an adjusted
Barge traffic has also been impacted by closures and delays
along the Mississippi, Illinois and Arkansas Rivers.
We know a lot of producers are having problems getting
their barges to the Chicago area, one ferroalloys trader
Road traffic also came to a standstill around Atlanta,
prompting Novelis Inc. to close its corporate offices Jan. 29,
a spokeswoman for the company told AMM.
The entire city of Atlanta is paralyzed with the storm
we had yesterday, she said via e-mail, adding that all
other plant locations were business as usual.
Michael Cowden, Corinna Petry, Nathan Laliberte and Lisa
Gordon contributed to this article.