ArcelorMittal said it will restart two idled U.S. blast furnaces as the steel industry starts to rebound from the economic downturn. The news came as statistics showed world steel production in July was at its highest so far in 2009. According to ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, it will resume production at its No. 6 blast furnace at Indiana Harbor in early October. It also said it will restart its C-5 blast furnace, steel shop, hot mill and other operations in Cleveland in mid-September. The company restarted its No. 5 blast furnace at Indiana Harbor in July. In addition, U.S. Steel may be restarting a furnace at its Great Lakes Works in Michigan. Although U.S. Steel declined to confirm, a local USW official said hundreds of his members have been called back to prepare for a restart.

According to the World Steel Association, world crude steel production totaled 103.9 million metric tons in July, the highest monthly production figure of the year. U.S. production of 5 million metric tons was also at its highest level this year. China accounted for 48% of the global monthly production number.