Steelmaker waits for demand to return

As Covid-19 lockdown regulations eased to Level 3, industries such as steelmaking are allowed to resume full operations.

ArcelorMittal SA’ said it would return to full production only when there would be sufficient demand to do so.

Africa’s largest steel producer stated that that available finished stock and work-in-progress were sufficient to support the delivery of confirmed orders to the end of June.

However, the company “…will only fully restart operations as the demand for steel becomes visible,” it said in a statement.

The South African demand for steel was at its lowest before the Covid-19 pandemic shutdown, which also hit exports as governments around the world enforced measures to contain the spread of the virus.

However, the company was confident that the adjustment of lockdown regulations would boost demand from local customers, cautioning that “the harsh reality is that no industry has remained untouched by the pandemic”.

The company said, “It is likely that it will be many months, if not years before the economy starts to revive and the demand for steel begins to grow again.”

Last year, ArcelorMittal revealed that it had incurred a loss of R4.68billion as the downturn in world steel deepened.

It supplies more than 60% of the steel used in South Africa.

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