Cheap imports, depressed energy market conditions and a charge for shutting down raw materials production facilities have all added up to a US$75 million Q1 2015 loss for US Steel.

According to a report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, sales fell 26% to US$3.27 billion and shipments were down 20%.

The American steelmaker also announced that its flat-roll mills had operated at 60% of capacity during the period compared with 75% the previous quarter and 81% at the end of Q1 2014.

The company was charged US$65 million for closing down coke production plants.

Mario Longhi, CEO of US Steel, said the results reflected ‘extremely challenging market conditions’. He emphasised the negative effect of high import levels, which he said contributed to reduced volumes.

The challenging conditions facing the company have resulted in 2,800 workers being laid off and a further 1,700 tubular division workers being issued with layoff warnings.