WARSAW, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Steel producer ArcelorMittal’s Polish unit said on Thursday it had received coking coal from overseas, helping it to maintain output for another few days, as its main supplier JSW has stopped deliveries due to a miners’ strike.
Last week ArcelorMittal said it was not receiving coal supplies from JSW, risking a production outage. ArcelorMittal is JSW’s biggest client.
“We are still having problems with supplies from JSW, but we had a ship with oversees coal coming at the weekend,” Sylwia Winiarek, ArcelorMittal Polska spokeswoman said.
“This means that we have secured supplies for another few days and the threat of curbing production has diminished”.
ArcelorMittal’s coking plant in Zdzieszowice, southern Poland, is the largest of its kind in Europe. The company’s steel plants account for 70 percent of Poland’s steel production capacity.
“Currently, coal prices on global markets are not high and they do not differ much from the ones at JSW, so we are not afraid of a significant increase in costs,” Winiarek said.
She added though that changes in supply sources force the company to change its coal blend, which in turn may have a negative impact on coke quality and the operation on its coke batteries.
Coal output at JSW, which is the European Union’s largest coking coal miner, stopped last week when miners’ went on strike over cost cutting.
JSW said the production outage translates into a daily loss of almost 30 million zlotys ($8 million).
“The production has stopped. Today there is another round of talks between the management board and the trade unions,” JSW spokeswoman Katarzyna Jablonska-Bajer said. (Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko; Editing by Mark Potter)