ArcelorMittal South Africa posts gaping loss as Chinese imports bite


ArcelorMittal South Africa Ltd on Friday posted a full-year loss that was 23 times wider than its loss of a year earlier, as the steelmaker grappled with cheap imports from China and rising labour and electricity costs.

The ArcelorMittal SA unit, which is reviewing operations at its major export-focused plant in Saldanha on South Africa’s west coast, reported a headline loss of 1,338 cents per share for the year ended Dec. 31, compared with 57 cents the previous year.

Headline earnings per share is the main measure of profitability in South Africa and strips out certain one-off items.


“The local steel industry is under severe threat due to the economic meltdown and the glut of oversupply driven by China,” the company said in a statement.

South Africa’s government in August last year agreed to a 10 percent steel import tariff, but ArcelorMittal is pushing for more intervention which could see custom duties on other steel products.