ArcelorMittal Is Not Giving Up on Liberia, Despite the Ebola Outbreak

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The World Bank estimates Ebola could cost West African nations $2.6 billion. The 7-month long outbreak has scared away many investors and led Liberia, the worst-affected country, to slash its annual growth estimate. However, the world’s biggest steel and mining group, ArcelorMittal, is determined to keep its employees safe, and its production stable.

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The steel and iron ore giant’s facility in Buchanan, Liberia, has not had a single Ebola case amongst all of its hundreds of workers.

“I don’t know of any case where anyone’s been nervous not to come to work. They know the environment they have here is, in my opinion, probably a lot safer than what they have in the city. They get a lot of protection here and they look after each other. And I am not saying they prefer to be but I think they are quite happy to be here and happy to be at work,” Denis Foulds, director of port and rails for ArcelorMittal, told CCTV America.

The outbreak has killed nearly 4,500 people so far, nearly all of them in West Africa. Foulds may be in charge of Liberia’s biggest iron ore port, but he proceeds through Ebola health-screenings like every other member of staff.

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Chinese steel prices were flat for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($136.77) and a low price of CNY 830.00 ($135.14) per dry metric ton. The price of Chinese HRC saw little movement at CNY 3,030 ($493.34) per metric ton. The price of Chinese coking coal was unchanged at CNY 1,390 ($226.32) per metric ton.

For the fifth consecutive day, the steel billet cash price held flat on the LME at $450.00 per metric ton. The 3-month price of steel billet continues hovering around $455.00 per metric ton on the LME for the fifth day in a row.

The 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract remained essentially flat at $624.00 per short ton. The US HRC futures contract spot price showed little movement on Thursday at $640.00 per short ton.

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