AK Steel is temporarily idling its Dearborn Works facility near Detroit, a company spokesperson told Fastmarkets on Friday March 27.
“Once automotive production comes back online, we’ll be able to restart Dearborn and ramp up,” according to Patricia Persico, director of corporate communications for Cleveland-Cliffs, parent company of AK Steel. “We’re going to bank the blast furnace until business conditions resume.”
AK's Dearborn Works includes carbon steel melting, casting, hot- and cold-rolling, and finishing operations, according to the company's website. Its carbon steel products include hot-rolled, cold-rolled, hot-dipped galvanized, hot-dipped galvannealed and advanced high-strength steel.
Several US domestic automakers have shut production plants through early-to-mid-April, with General Motors on Thursday March 26 extending its closures indefinitely.
US hot-rolled coil prices have slipped to a more than three-month low following a wave of order cancellations that could result in shorter mill lead times, according to market participants.
Fastmarkets' daily steel hot-rolled coil index, fob mill US was calculated at $28.02 per hundredweight ($560.40 per ton) on Thursday March 26, down 1.1% ($0.31 per cwt) from $28.33 per cwt one day prior and 1.3% ($0.38 per cwt) from $28.40 per cwt a week earlier.
Domestic prices for cold-rolled and galvanized steel sheet also declined after automotive plants suspended production as a result of the pandemic.
Fastmarkets' weekly price assessment for steel cold-rolled coil, fob mill US weakened to $37 per cwt on Thursday from $38 per cwt on March 19. Fastmarkets' price assessment for steel hot-dipped galvanized (base) steel coil, fob mill US fell to $37.50 per cwt on Thursday from $38.50 per cwt a week earlier.
Michael Cowden in Chicago contributed to this report.