U.S. Steel Puts More Workers on Potential Layoff Notice, China Sets Rare Earth Quotas

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MetalCrawler brings you warning of more domestic steel producer layoffs and China released new rare earth quotas.

More Layoffs Coming

U.S. Steel Corp. could slash 1,400 jobs as it continues to grapple with a difficult market.

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The Pittsburgh-based company notified workers last week, mostly at plants in Texas and Arkansas, that they could be out of a job as early as June 17, U.S. Steel spokeswoman Sarah Cassella said Monday.

The potential cuts include 579 employees in Lone Star Tubular Operations; 166 in Offshore Operations Houston; 255 at Wheeling Machine Pine Bluff in Arkansas; and 404 managers throughout its tubular operations.

China Sets Rare Earth Quotas

China’s Ministry of Industry & Information Technology recently released rare earth production quotas for 2015.

Rare earth oxide (REO) mining quotas were set at 52,500 metric tons while smelting and separating limits came in at 50,050 mt.

Productions quotas were up 12% from those set last year, while refining can expand by 10.6%. 60% of the mining quota was allocated to China North Rare Earth Group, a consolidation of several Chinese rare earths producers that was merged early this year.

Statistics from China’s Rare Earth Industry Association shows that after a slump in January ahead of the country’s lunar new year holidays, export of REEs recovered in February, jumping 24.7% to 2,052 mt year-on-year.

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