Outokumpu announced in late June that it will increase its production capability due to increased orders from earlier low levels that forced the temporary layoffs of some 700 employees at its Tornio, Finland, plant.

“The reduction of inventories by distributors and end-users seems to have ended and the increase in the nickel price has triggered some purchasing activity,” the company said in a press release.

Outokumpu had been operating at about 50-60% capacity utilization in the first half of 2009. The plan is not to return to full production capacity yet, but to adjust production “to allow for some recovery in the delivery volumes for the fourth quarter of this year … Delivery volumes in the third quarter will remain at depressed levels due to capacity constraints and maintenance shutdowns.”