Sunday, April 13, 2003

Cleveland port to export first steel since 1994

The Associated Press

CLEVELAND - The port of Cleveland will soon ship its first steel exports since 1994, the port authority said last week.

The first steel export ship is due to arrive about Friday, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority said.

About 155,000 tons of steel made at Cleveland's International Steel Group mill will be exported to Europe in seven ships by the end of May, the port agency said.

"European industries have looked at the places, prices and costs of doing business and determined that Cleveland was best for what they wanted," said Gary Failor, executive director of the port authority.

The United States has blamed declining American exports on cheap imports, some subsidized by foreign governments. Foreign producers said the U.S. industry failed to make itself competitive during the 1990s.

Last year New York-based WL Ross & Co. LLC formed ISG after buying LTV steel assets out of bankruptcy court.

ISG operates integrated flat-rolled steel plants in Cleveland and East Chicago, Ind.; a finishing plant in Hennepin, Ill.; a coke plant in Warren, Ohio; and a caster and hot strip mill in Riverdale, Ill. ISG has bid $1.5 billion for Bethlehem Steel's assets.

The port of Cleveland on Lake Erie handles about 14 million tons of cargo yearly.

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