Due to the falling prices of steel, and the weaker demand for the commodity, United States Steel Corp (NYSE: X) announced that the company would be consolidating its North American flat-rolled operations, and temporarily halting their operations in Granite City, Illinois. The temporary shutdown of US Steel’s Granite City operation is expected to affect 2,080 employees.
Other factors also played a role in US Steel’s decision to consolidate and temporary halt operations. Because of a stronger dollar, imports have been cheaper, so steel manufactured from China, has been saturating the US market, hence leading to lower steel prices, more job cuts and plant closures in the US. US Steel comments on the current steel market, “The consolidation is a result of challenging market conditions that reflect the cyclical nature of the industry. Global influences in the market like reduced steel prices, unfair trade, imports and fluctuating oil prices continue to have an impact on the business.”
US Steel profits and revenues have been waning during the recent fourth quarter, and the company had warned investors that business for the current year could continue to feel pressure due to a strong dollar and low oil prices. However, US Steel will continue their other operations that are currently based out of Alabama, Indiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania.