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U.S. Steel Said to Warn of Potential Force Majeure on Accidents

U.S. Steel Corp., the largest domestic producer of the metal by volume, warned customers that it may suspend some deliveries after accidents curtailed output at a Michigan plant, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The Pittsburgh-based company said in a letter to customers that it may take measures including the declaration of force majeure, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the the information hasn’t been made public.

Force majeure is a clause in a contract invoked by commodity suppliers when they can’t meet obligations because of circumstances beyond their control.

The three blast furnaces at U.S. Steel’s Great Lakes plant in Ecorse, Michigan, were idled after a March 27 roof collapse. A contract worker operating a crane at the site of the collapse died in an April 4 accident.

The Great Lakes plant has annual steelmaking capacity of 3.8 million tons, according to a company filing. U.S. Steel’s domestic capacity is 22 million tons. The company’s U.S. mills produced 17.9 million tons in 2013.

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