BRUSSELS (Reuters) - ArcelorMittal ISPA.AS will restart a blast furnace in northern France later this month in response to a slight increase in steel demand in Europe due to restocking among customers.
The world's largest steelmaker said in a statement on Wednesday that the number two furnace at Dunkirk, taken out for maintenance in August 2012, would restart in the week of Jan 17.
The furnace, with an annual capacity of 1 million tonnes, is one of three at the Dunkirk site, which overall can produce 8 million tonnes of steel for the region and ArcelorMittal's operations in Florange and Liege.
"At the moment, there is a modest technical pick-up in Europe due to the phenomenon of restocking of steel by customers linked to the weakness of stocks," the company said.
Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop