Metals manufacturers, miners and ports exporting those materials announced closures and partial closures on Thursday. They included Hydro, Port of Houston terminals; ArcelorMittal, LME Beltrame and Raffmetal in Europe; and an MMG mine in Peru.
Hydro managing employees in 40 countries
Hydro has joined its peers in enacting safeguards for its employees amid the COVID-19 spread. Although it expects minimal operational disruption, Hydro has 36,000 employees scattered in about 40 countries and must contend with variables that will, at times, be beyond its control, the company said in a statement. The aluminum maker has advised its employees to restrict their travel, take extraordinary hygiene measures, cancel internal and external events, and work from home. Most company operations are running normally, but near-term developments remain uncertain, as does the COVID-19’s impact on its financials.
Port of Houston announces closures; employee infected
Port of Houston has indefinitely closed the Barbours Cut and Bayport Containers terminals after an employee tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The closures affect all yard, gate, and vessel operations, and could monumentally impact trade, commerce, and other business in the Houston metropolitan area. Port of Houston is not answering phone calls, but will work reply to emails as promptly as possible, it said in a statement.
ArcelorMittal Europe expects diminished output
ArcelorMittal has moderated its activities in Europe in light of the pandemic, but it expects production will be affected as a result. Europe has become the epicenter for the COVID-19 virus, and it has impelled the company to scale back production in several European markets to protect employees. The steelmaker also noted it will try to keep supply and demand aligned, although it did not provide further details.
LME Beltrame suspends operations
The LME Beltrame Group has suspended operations until March 31 due to the COVID-19 virus. According to a notice on the company’s website, it will “stop all direct and indirect activities.” The company began adopting precautionary measures on Feb 24 and has, to date, ceased operations at its Vicenza plant in Italy, while reducing activity at its San Giovanni and San Didero plants in the country. Italy has been hit the hardest by COVID-19 in Europe.
Raffmetal suspension could remove 6,500mt al volume
Italy’s Raffmetal, a secondary aluminum producer, has ceased operations at both its plants and offices from March 16-22, which could remove about 6,500mt of material from the market. The company produces about 250,000mt of secondary aluminum alloys per annum, most of which is 226 aluminum ingot—a popular grade in Europe’s automotive production industry.
Peru’s copper output in 2020 could decline
MMG is reducing transportation of concentrates and critical supplies from its Las Bambas mine in Peru, which will doubtless affect the country’s mining output this year because Las Bambas comprises a fifth of Peru’s copper production. The Chinese miner noted that none of its employees have been infected with COVID-19, and that its Australian and Congolese mines are operating normally.