For now, the Group has closed Ferriera Valsider and Metinvest Trametal until 3 April 2020. During this time, their production is expected to fall by 40 thousand tonnes. If the government announces additional restrictions, the time frame could be extended. At the same time, once the measures are lifted, the plants’ inventory of semi-finished products will enable operations to be resumed at the usual pace, in line with demand.
If the restrictions continue and the European market remains volatile, output at Metinvest’s Ukrainian plants is likely to decline, primarily at Azovstal. In this light, at that steelmaker, the Group is considering a complete shutdown of slab production.
Other related measures could include the shutdown of blast furnace no. 3 at Azovstal and the rescheduling of the relaunch of blast furnaces no. 4 at both Ilyich Steel and Azovstal, which were shut down for major overhauls, from April to May. In addition, the relaunch of blast furnace no. 5 at the Zaporizhstal Joint Venture, which has been closed for a scheduled reconstruction, might be postponed. Final decisions on these will be based on orders in April and the situation globally.
Elsewhere, if production falls, the Group will channel any surplus iron ore from its mining assets in Kryvyi Rih to traditional markets, particularly China.