Metal Industry News

Republic's Canton, Lackawanna Mills to be Idled Indefinitely

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Grupo Simec, a leading international producer of special bar quality steel, steel wire, rebar, and commercial and structural steel long products, will indefinitely idle steelmaking operations at its Republic Steel mills in Canton, Ohio, and Lackawanna, N.Y.

During the idling, Republic Steel’s U.S. customers will be served via Grupo Simec’s steel mill in Tlaxcala, Mexico. U.S. customers will experience no interruption in service, the company claimed.

As a result of the consolidation, about 500 Republic Steel employees will be furloughed indefinitely.

According to Jaime Vigil, Republic Steel board member and executive advisor, Grupo Simec exhausted every additional potential option besides idling these two operations. “We’re facing an extremely challenging SBQ market in the U.S., with competitive market pricing and decreased demand,” said Vigil. “At the same time, we’ve had to deal with increasing input costs on all raw materials, consumables and labor, all as a result of the inflationary environment in the U.S. over the past year.”

Vigil said there was hope that inflationary pressures would ease, and that Republic Steel would experience a bump in business following the passages of the Infrastructure Bill in 2021 and the Inflation Reduction Act in 2022. Unfortunately, neither came to fruition in a timely manner.

Grupo Simec and Republic Steel are the only producers of leaded steel in North America and have been committed to doing so in an environmentally responsible manner.

“One of our core values at both Grupo Simec and Republic Steel is to always be environmentally responsible,” said Vigil. “As the only producers of leaded steel in North America, we also owe it to our customers, and their customers, to be a reliable supplier of such products. This isn’t an easy decision. But we feel it’s the only way for us to continue to serve our U.S. customer base with an ongoing and reliable supply of product, including leaded steel, and to do so at a competitive price point.”