Steel Mills

U.S. Steel confirms that UPI has been idled

Written by Michael Cowden

U.S. Steel has idled its USS-UPI LLC subsidiary in Pittsburg, Calif., a company spokesperson confirmed.

The idling happened in December, they said in an email to SMU.

The move by Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel was expected. A WARN notice filed with the state of California in September said that 473 employees would be impacted by the “idling of all operations.”

Also, U.S. Steel said in an SEC filing in October that it planned to idle the plant at year end. And key stakeholders were informed of plans to idle the facility in early 2022.

USS-UPI had been a 50-50 joint venture between U.S. Steel and South Korean steelmaker Posco. U.S. Steel took full control of the company early in 2020.

USS-UPI was also an important steel supplier to the West Coast. It had capacity to produce 1.5 million tons annually of cold-rolled and galvanized steel sheet and tin mill products made from hot bands principally provided by U.S. Steel.

While the news was not a surprise, some market participants tell SMU that, partly as a result of UPI closing, the West Coast steel market has been tighter than those east of the Rocky Mountains – in particular when it comes to galvanized and tin mill products.

Michael Cowden

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