Gerdau Ameristeel Corp. is suspending production at its Sayreville, N.J., steel mill and closing its rolling mill in neighboring Perth Amboy, N.J., due to lower demand for its products resulting from the downturn in the economy. According to Gerdau Ameristeel, these actions are expected to occur gradually over the next several months. The company, which said it would restart operations at the Sayreville facility when business conditions warrant, is also entering into discussions with the United Steel Workers regarding the potential closure of its steel mill in Sand Springs, Okla. Gerdau Ameristeel said the moves followed a series of steps taken over the last nine months to reduce costs.

The Sayreville facility will continue to carry a full range of products in inventory available for shipment or customer pickup until production resumes. The company will also continue to offer its full range of products to customers throughout North America. Depending on the outcome of the potential Sand Springs closure, Gerdau Ameristeel expects to save approximately $35-70 million as a result of these actions.