This Morning in Metals: ArcelorMittal to lay off nearly 900 at East Chicago plant

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This morning in metals news: ArcelorMittal cited market deterioration in its decision to lay off nearly 900 workers at its plant in East Chicago; Rio Tinto is investing an additional $200 million in its lithium-borate project in Serbia; and the U.S. Department of Commerce has launched antidumping and countervailing subsidy probes related to metal lockers from China.

Mass layoffs at Indiana Harbor plant

Layoffs began this past Saturday at ArcelorMittal’s steelmaking plant in East Chicago.

In a WARN notice to state regulators dated July 24, Wendell Carter, vice president and general manager of ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor, cited market conditions for the layoffs of 877 workers.

“Many of the company’s customers closed their operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Carter wrote. “Despite their re-openings, business conditions continue to be depressed during the pandemic, with no significant improvement in demand for the products we manufacturer foreseen in the near term. This had a direct impact on our business.”

As for the layoffs, which began Saturday, they included 774 indefinite layoffs and 103 permanent terminations. Furthermore, the indefinite layoffs included: 256 service technicians, 182 operating technicians and 151 utility workers.

Buyers should keep an eye out for these types of announcements, in addition to potential furnace restarts or closings, by subscribing to the MetalMiner Monthly Buying Outlook.

Rio Tinto invests $200M in lithium-borate project

Miner Rio Tinto announced plans to invest an additional $200 million in its lithium-borate project in Serbia.

“This will primarily fund the feasibility study, including the completion of detailed engineering designs, as well as permitting and land acquisition by the end of 2021, in line with the initial project schedule,” the firm said.

DOC launches AD, CVD probes for metal lockers

The U.S. Department of Commerce has launched antidumping and countervailing subsidy investigations related to imports of metal lockers from China.

The imports are allegedly being dumped at margins of 245.96-322.25%. As for subsidies, the DOC is investigating 24 subsidy programs related to imports of the metal lockers.

Buyers should make sure to follow best practices when sourcing their metals products, whether domestically or from abroad.

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