ArcelorMittal may double output cuts

ArcelorMittal may double output cuts

London: The world’s biggest steel maker, ArcelorMittal, may double output cuts at some mills and curtail expansion amid a global economic slowdown. The company, which posts third-quarter earnings on Wednesday, will reduce European and US flat-steel output in the current quarter by 30%, Credit Suisse Group AG estimates.

Haroon Hassan, a spokesman for ArcelorMittal in London, declined to comment.

Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal had said in September it was prepared to cut production as much as 15% to support prices. “The expansion plans will definitely be scaled down as it will be much harder to raise cash," said Charlie Dove-Edwin, an analyst at MF Global Securities in London, who has a “sell" recommendation on the shares.

ArcelorMittal may be forced to postpone investments in new Indian steel mills after prices for hot-rolled steel coil, used in cars and construction, dropped 11% from a record high two months ago. Chief executive Lakshmi Mittal, 58, may join competitors in Russia, Japan and the UK in reducing production.

The company plans to build 12 million tonnes of steel capacity in India, including a $9 billion (Rs43,740 crore) venture in Jharkhand.

Theresa Tang in Hong Kong contributed to this story.