Brazilian steelmaker Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional (CSN) has confirmed that it has temporarily shut down its Blast Furnace 2 (BF2) due to lower demand for steel.
On May 14, local media in Brazil had reported that the company idled BF2 due to lower demand. In a recent statement confirming the news, CSN said that its plants in Brazil, Germany, and Portugal continued working with no material operational impacts.
The steelmaker said it has suspended the operations of BF2, which has a capacity of 1.5mn mt per year and is monitoring COVID-19’s impact on its business, especially since Brazil remains under lockdown because of the pandemic.
The South American nation has the most confirmed COVID-19 cases in Latin America with more than 498,000 cases, according to official figures on Monday.
Apart from ArcelorMittal, Brazilian steelmakers and iron ore miners such as Usiminas, Gerdau, and Vale have also taken steps to reduce or shut down production in compliance with COVID-19 shutdown imposed by the government.
Crude steel output in Brazil fell by 8.2pc to 2.6mn mt in March this year, compared the same month in 2019, according to the latest data from the Brazilian Steel Institute (Aço Brasil). Crude steel production in March last year reached 2.8mn.