U.S. Steel will idle one of its production lines at the Minntac taconite plant in Mountain Iron in response to changing market conditions, officials said Friday. Layoffs are not expected.
Company officials noted softening market conditions that include lower prices for tubular steel plus lower demand and lower prices for flat-rolled steel products.
In June, U.S. Steel idled two blast furnaces in the United States and one blast furnace in Europe to better align its global production with its order book. Now, the company is making changes at its Mountain Iron taconite plant in Minnesota, which converts iron ore into tacontie pellets that get converted elsewhere into steel.
No changes were announced for the another U.S. Steel-owned Iron Range taconite plant, Keetac in Keewatin.
Minntac, which has 1,800 union and non-union workers, can produce 16 million net tons of iron taconite pellets a year.
"In order to reflect changing market conditions and the need to adjust our raw materials accordingly, we plan to take advantage of this situation by performing additional maintenance on our five Minntac agglomerators for enhanced reliability in preparation for improved market conditions," U.S. Steel said in a statement. "We do not anticipate any employment impacts as a result of this action."