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ArcelorMittal SA to close long steel ops

STORY: Shares in ArcelorMittal South Africa fell more than 7% on Tuesday (November 28) after the company said it plans to close its long steel operations.

It's a move that potentially impacts 3,500 jobs.

The South African unit of the world's number 2 steelmaker said weak demand and persistent infrastructure problems were behind its decision.

Its long steel unit produces items such as fencing material, rail, rods and bars used in the construction, mining and manufacturing sectors.

But the company said steel consumption in Africa's most advanced economy had fallen 20% over the past seven years due to limited infrastructure spending and project delays.

South Africa's persistent rail logistics problems and an intensifying electricity crisis had also added costs to the business, ArcelorMittal South Africa said in a statement.

Shares were down 7.3% at 0845 GMT, their lowest level since January 2021.

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