Necessary repairs at some production units were behind the reduced availability, market sources said.
In particular, merchant slab output from Ukrainian steelmaker Metinvest in December-February has been below the production target, because of blast furnace maintenance stoppages at Azovstal Iron & Steel Works and Illych Iron & Steel Works.
With only four days of the month remaining, the target is unlikely to be reached. On February 14, a company source told Fastmarkets that the shortfall was 190,000 tonnes.
Slab availability should remain tight in the coming months, while...