Steel News

Citing Softening Demand, ArcelorMittal Furloughs Italian Workers

6/6/2019 - ArcelorMittal Italia is temporarily laying off approximately 1,400 workers amid weakening demand and heightened competition from imported steel, the company has announced.

In a statement, ArcelorMittal said it has asked the affected employees to remain at home for the next 13 weeks.

"It's a difficult decision, but market conditions are really critical throughout Europe. I want to reiterate that they are temporary measures — steel is a cyclical market,” said ArcelorMittal Italia chief executive Matthieu Jehl.

The company said the layoffs are necessary given an overall decline in European steel consumption as well as in the Italian markets.

At the same time, imports of sheet and coil into Italy are up 51%.

“The weak safeguards for steel imports adopted by the EU Commission make us vulnerable at a time when steel prices are low, energy costs are high and raw materials costs are constantly increasing,” the company said.

ArcelorMittal in May announced that it would temporarily idle a mill in Poland while extending planned outages at other facilities. It also has said it would reduce production from 6 million to 5 million tons at its Taranto steel works.

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