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ArcelorMittal USA is scaling back ironmaking at its Indiana Harbor mill as the No.3 blast furnace at the facility has reached the end of its current campaign and the company does not plan to immediately invest in its continued operation, a spokesman for the company told S&P Global Platts Monday.

The furnace at the East Chicago, Indiana, mill requires significant capital investment for continued operations, the spokesman said.

"The furnace will be taken down in a safe and orderly fashion and preserved to maintain our capacity for when customer demand merits the necessary capital investments for a new campaign," he said. "This will not impact ArcelorMittal USA's ability to meet current customer demand."

The furnace has a rated capacity of 4,500 st/day, according to an analyst note. The 35 employees currently employed at BF3 operations will be reassigned to other operations at Indiana Harbor and no layoffs are expected as a result of this action, according to the spokesman. Indiana Harbor will continue to operate two blast furnaces, No.4 and No.7, according to the spokesman.

ArcelorMittal's North American crude steel production totaled 5.66 million mt in the third quarter of 2019, a decrease of 1% compared with the 5.72 million mt of crude steel the company produced in the year-ago quarter, the company reported November 6. Meanwhile, the company's North American shipments during the quarter decreased 6% to 5.14 million mt from 5.51 million st in Q3 2018.

Last week the company cut its 2019 outlook for global steel demand on weakness in the manufacturing and automotive sectors. ArcelorMittal expects global apparent steel consumption, or ASC, to grow in 2019 between 0.5% to 1.0%. This is toward the lower end of previous guidance of 0.5% to 1.5%.

Also on Monday, ArcelorMittal South Africa announced its decision to wind-down steel operations at its Saldanha Works, placing the operation on care and maintenance.

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