November 26, 2008 / 4:06 PM / 12 years ago

SSAB says to close blast furnace for one month

STOCKHOLM, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Specialty steel maker SSAB (SSABa.ST) said on Wednesday it would accelerate a plan to shut one of its blast furnaces for one month of repairs, part of a wider effort to scale back production as demand has fallen.

The company produces hardened plates at its Oxelosund operation south of Stockholm. One of two blast furnaces there will be closed for one month from mid-December.

“We continuously adapt production to lower demand, but maintain the production we need to deliver on our commitments,” Helena Stalnert, SSAB’s information director, told Reuters.

“We still need to cut production, so this was a good time to do the repairs.”

SSAB said last week it had seen a sudden drop this month in demand, which was proving to be weaker than anticipated in the firm’s third-quarter report. It expects fourth-quarter deliveries to show a decline from a year earlier.

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