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Last Updated : Apr 01, 2020 05:06 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Coronavirus impact: Tata Steel suspends ops at downstream facilities, cuts production at integrated units

Tata Steel, however, didn't provide details on the quantum of production cuts.

 
 
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Tata Steel has taken a slew of steps, including suspending operations of some of its downstream facilities, to adjust to market conditions post the coronavirus outbreak.

While the company's mines continue to operate 'normally', the steelmaker has reduced production at its integrated steel units in Jamshedpur in Jharkhand, Gamahria in Bihar, and Kalinganagar and Angul in Odisha.

It, however, didn't provide details on the quantum of production cuts.

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"These are unprecedented times and the situation on the ground is evolving very rapidly. We are working closely with customers and suppliers and various government agencies to mitigate these impacts as far as possible," the company said in a statement on April 1.

Apart from Tata Steel, JSW Steel, SAIL and AM/NipponSteel have also cut production. They have been forced to as demand from auto and infrastructure sectors - their two main clients - have slumped. While auto companies themselves have shut production units, construction work has come to a standstill amidst the national lockdown

"The company is focused on conserving cash and liquidity. We are reducing the cost base to align with the operating and market situation, with a strong focus on working capital management. All payments to MSME vendors and contract workers are being done on due dates," Tata Steel said.

Though the governments at the Centre and the states have clarified that steel and mines are essential services, companies have been unable to keep running their plants. Apart from the slump in demand, some of them are also facing labour shortage.

Focused on conserving cash

Tata Steel said that it's facing 'restrictions in the despatch of finished goods,' and coupled with the lack of demand, it has curtailed shipments to customers.

The focus is on conserving cash.

"The company is focused on conserving cash and liquidity and are reducing the cost base to align with the operating and market situation with strong focus on working capital management. All payments to MSME vendors and contract workers are being done on due dates," it said.

In Europe too, Tata Steel has reduced production in its units, with overall demand in the region 'sharply' reduced.

"Tata Steel Europe has thereforereduced production at some of the European mills to match this lower demand," it said. 

While Tata Steel Europe is currently operating all four blast furnaces, these are at reduced levels.  

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First Published on Apr 1, 2020 04:03 pm