Davis Index: Market Intelligence for the Global Metals and Recycled Materials Markets

JSW Steel USA resumed operations at its Mingo Junction facility in Ohio last week. The company restarted its electric-arc furnace and hot rolling mill at the facility after purchasing scrap from regional traders over the past few weeks. 


The company resorted to job cuts and had idled the facility since mid-April, while only keeping employees with core skills. The plant was slated to remain non-operable for four weeks. During the shutdown, JSW said it would complete its planned maintenance and capital expenditures related to the plant. As a result, the mill has been performing maintenance-related tests over the past few weeks. 


The restart is considered positive by regional scrap dealers, with one market participant telling Davis Index that the site is still in “ramp up” mode in all areas from operations to sales. As a result the steelmaker’s scrap demand and capacity utilization levels will likely be limited over the next two months. 


The company also temporarily idled its pipe mill in Baytown, Texas in April with plans for restarting in June. Maintenance and capital expenditures towards the $260mn modernization project were to continue in the idled period. However, the facility has not restarted yet and no forward comment was available from spokesperson.


Pipe mills have been laying off workers and reducing production capacity across various mills in Texas due to limited steel demand resulting from COVID-19 and low oil and gas prices that have drilling projects closing. 


The oil and gas rig count as of June 12 is at an all-time low at 279 rigs which is down 690 rigs or 71pc compared to 969 rigs a year ago, according to Baker Hughs data.

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