London — European steel producers may have idled around 15 million mt/year of pig iron capacity so far in 2020, as the coronavirus outbreak has weakened demand, miner Vale said Tuesday in a presentation.
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Vale added that the cuts represent 17% of the European Union's 87 million mt/year pig iron, or hot metal, production in 2019.
It also said around 18 million mt/year of iron ore supply globally had been affected.
Over a third of ArcelorMittal's 2019 Western Europe-based pig iron output of 23 million mt has been idled, Vale noted. On top of this, ArcelorMittal's Ilva unit has seen capacity equivalent to half its 2019 pig iron output of 4.3 million mt suspended, it said.
Voestalpine has turned off a blast furnace in Linz, Austria.
Vale said the group's cuts represented 12% of its 5.8 million mt hot metal production in 2019.
Meanwhile, iron ore production has been affected globally by restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Vale said iron ore operations in South Africa, Canada, India, Peru and Malaysia were affected.