Steel Products

NLMK USA Takes More Orders Ahead of Post-Strike Ramp: Exec

Written by Michael Cowden

NLMK USA expects United Steelworkers (USW) union members at its steel mill in Farrell, Pa., to return to work on Monday, March 8, a company official said.

The steelmaker plans to ramp up its hot mill in western Pennsylvania in March. April will see downstream facilities resume normal operating rates, NLMK USA Executive Vice President James Banker told Steel Market Update.


The company had already been accepting March orders for hot-rolled coil and April orders for downstream products, Banker said.

“We have been taking additional tons from our customers. … Since we have been booking orders in anticipation of this ramp up, our lead times will remain unchanged,” he said.

NLMK USA has enough slabs in place to support the additional orders, Banker added.

The company operates an electric-arc furnace mill in Portage, Ind., in addition to its slab-rerolling and downstream sheet processing operations in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania mill requires imported slabs to feed its hot-strip mill.

The USW’s return follows the ratification of a new labor contract covering the Farrell mill. USW members at the mill on March 1 voted to approve a new four-year labor agreement, ending a strike that began more than six months ago.

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NLMK USA sells hot-rolled coil, hot-rolled pickled and oiled (P&O), cold-rolled coil as well as galvanized products to service centers as well as a range of end-use markets, including HVAC, appliance, and pipe and tube.

The Farrell mill, also known as NLMK Pennsylvania, is the company’s largest plant in the U.S. and makes hot-rolled and cold-rolled coils, according to NLMK USA’s website.

NLMK’s Sharon Coating facility, located in nearby Sharon, Pa., makes galvanized and galvannealed products. It is represented by a different USW local.

The strike at Farrell had contributed to a spot market supply squeeze that has resulted in hot-rolled coil prices hitting new records every week since about mid-January.

NLMK USA’s Farrell hot-strip mill has annual capacity of 1.8 million tons, according to the Association for Iron and Steel Technology’s 2021 Directory of Iron and Steel plants.

The company had continued to operate the mill with salaried staff during the strike, but was not able to run it at its full capacity with USW members not working.

By Michael Cowden,

Michael Cowden

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