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

Embattled UK-based Liberty Steel resumed commercial production from its electric arc furnace (EAF) speciality steel plant in Rotherham on April 6, according to a company spokesperson late last week.


Liberty Steel initially suspended operations from its Rotherham-based site on March 12 after the collapse of its chief financier Greensill Capital UK.


Liberty’s Rotherham plant is thought to only be operating at reduced capacity, due to recent slack demand for special steel products from the aerospace and automotive sector.


Recent interviews in mainstream media with the firm’s local employees indicate it could be due to a lack of working capital given that they are only scheduled to work in “two-week blocks”.


This reconciles with comments made to Davis Index by UK-based ferrous scrap merchants, who had been demanding prepayment for deliveries prior to the mill’s idling.


Another UK-based supplier noted that they had heard Liberty had repaid some outstanding ferrous scrap delivery invoices and prepaid for fresh deliveries to get the mill restarted.


Liberty noted that it welcomed its customers’ support in the plant’s measures to restart, such as matching the current stock to customer orders. 


The group working on solutions to provide additional working capital facilities in a bid to replace the funding gap left by Greensill, and it is simultaneously making use of the furlough scheme.

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