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The company announced its intention to resume the operation of the blast furnace, which was suspended in July 2022

The Serbian steel plant HBIS Serbia, which is owned by the Chinese steel group HBIS Group, plans to start production at full capacity in March 2023. Eurometal reports about it with the reference to Fastmarkets.

The only producer of rolled steel in Serbia has announced its intention to resume the operation of one of the two blast furnaces from March 13, 2023, which has been suspended since July 2022 due to the decline in demand and steel prices.

As Fastmarkets notes, the enterprise will operate on two blast furnaces, but in the summer one of the units will be suspended for maintenance.

The total capacity of two HBIS Serbia blast furnaces is 2.2 million tons of pig iron per year. The enterprise produces hot-rolled and cold-rolled products, as well as tin.

HBIS Serbia signed a contract with Ukrainian Danube Shipping to transport more than 500,000 tons of iron ore across the Danube.

According to Fastmarkets estimates, at the end of 2022, about 14-15 million tons of annual steel capacities were stopped in Europe. EU steel companies have been hit by a sharp rise in energy prices and a drop in steel demand and prices. To contain the sharp decline in prices, companies have decided to cut production to balance supply and demand.

In early 2023, flat steel prices across Europe began to recover due to tight supply and active restocking. The revival of the market contributed to the restoration of the steelmaking capacities of European steelmakers.

In particular, ArcelorMittal has reached a normal pace of production at German ArcelorMittal Bremen. In addition, the company announced plans to resume steel production at ArcelorMittal Hamburg’s direct reduction plant.

France’s ArcelorMittal Dunkirk currently operates two furnaces, while in December 2022 the company decommissioned BF №2. The plant in Foss-sur-Mer is preparing to resume operation of the blast furnace with a capacity of 2 million tons in April 2023. ArcelorMittal Gijon (Spain) restarted BF-A in early 2023 after being idle since September 29, 2022.

ArcelorMittal also restarted blast furnace №3 at the plant in Dąbrowa Górnicza (Poland). Currently, the plant is preparing to close BF №2 for major repairs.

Finnish SSAB, Tata Steel in the Netherlands, Slovak US Stel Kosice, Romanian Liberty Galati and others also reported about the restart of capacities.

As GMK Center reported earlier, in January 2023 European steelmakers reduced steel production by 15.2% compared to January last year – to 10.3 million tons. Compared to December 2022, steel production in the EU increased by 11.9%.