Liberty Steel to pause wire rod production in Georgetown

Liberty Steel will "temporarily pause" production at its wire rod mill in Georgetown, South Carolina, and shift the plant's production to making steel wire mesh and welded steel products, the company announced on Friday April 19

“Current market forces, along with a surge in imported steel, have led to a decrease in rod prices, causing the mill to incur higher production costs than the selling price of the rod,” the company said in a press release.

“Unfortunately, market forces are working against us in the rod market with the increase in imports and significant pressure on transportation costs. We fully intend to bring the rod mill back up as soon as it makes financial sense to do so,” chief operating officer Pieter Vanderwesthuizen said. 

Liberty said it “is not idling the facility,” and will resume operations when markets recover.

An industry observer told Fastmarkets on Friday that Liberty intends to supply wire rod for operations and its Georgetown facility from its wire rod facility in Peoria, Illinois.

During the pause in wire production, the company said it will perform needed maintenance.

Liberty has sent layoff notices to more than 50 employees and offered to provide those affected opportunities at other Liberty locations or a severance package that will include help in finding employment elsewhere in the state. 

Fastmarkets’ monthly price assessment for steel wire rod (low carbon) industrial quality, fob mill US was $43-48 per hundredweight ($860-960 per short ton) on Tuesday April 16, unchanged from March 19, but down by 6.19% from $47-50 per cwt on February 20, where it had been flat since December 19.

The story was first published on the Fastmarkets platform on April 19, 2024. Speak to our team to get the latest steel and steel raw material news and analysis.

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