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ARGENTINA | 28-02-2024 18:59

Argentine steel producer Acindar halts production amid sharp drop in sales

Leading steel producer Acindar, from the ArcelorMittal group, will stop production for a month at its five plants in order to compensate for a heavy fall in demand.

Steelmaker Acindar, from the ArcelorMittal group, will suspend production at its five industrial plants in Argentina for a month starting due to a drop in sales.

According to the firm, sales have dropped by roughly between 30 and 50 percent in recent months, forcing the stoppage.

Acindar has “decided to halt all activities” in the next weeks, communications manager Carlos Velasco announced. 

Velasco cited the economic crisis facing Argentina, which is suffering from over 250-percent year-to-year inflation in January. The nation’s economy is expected to contract by 2.8 percent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The measure will be applied from March 18 to April 15 at the “five locations” of the steelmaker, as detailed by its spokesman on the radio.

The firm has facilities in Rosario and Villa Constitución in the province of Santa Fe; Villa Mercedes in the province of San Luis and San Nicolás and La Tablada in Buenos Aires Province.

“The idea is to try to adjust stocks to the new level of activity,” he added.

The spokesman of the company added that there will be no dismissals, but that unused holiday time and compensatory time off will be offered to the staff in lieu.

According to Acindar’s website, the company has some 2,400 employees and 3,100 contractors in Argentina.

Since taking office last December, President Javier Milei has suspended all public works projects, including ongoing ones. The order was issued immediately after he took office in December as part of a promise to reduce inflation and introduce heavy austerity in state spending.

“We’re in high inflation and a sharp drop of activity, and Acindar does not fall outside that context,” said Velasco.

Acindar is one of the two biggest steel firms in the country and produces long steel to supply the civil construction, oil, energy, auto, agricultural, and industrial sectors. 

It was founded in 1942 by a group of businessmen, among them engineer Arturo Acevedo.

– TIMES/AFP
 

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