The mill, which is part of the US subsidiary of Indian steelmaker JSW Steel, produced more than 73,000 metric tonnes (t) of hot rolled coil (HRC) in the fourth quarter that ended 31 March, up by 32pc compared to the same period prior year.
The mill began a four-week outage at the end of April in order to upgrade the facility’s automation, the company’s chief executive John Hritz said.
At JSW Steel USA’s plate and pipe mill in Baytown, Texas, production fell compared to last year. Plate production was down by 22pc to 63,500t with a utilization rate of 27pc, down by 7 percentage points year-over-year. Pipe production fell by 34pc to 15,200t with a utilization rate of 11pc, down by 6 percentage points compared to the prior year.
JSW Steel’s US plate and pipe operations rely heavily on the energy industry, which has been hammered by a downturn in the energy industry. The number of active oil and gas rigs in the US fell to 318 last week, down by 475 drilling rigs in the 11 weeks since the beginning of March, when oil prices began to collapse as the economy contracted because of Covid-related shutdowns.
The price of West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark, has declined by 31pc since early March.