Financial crisis causes Tata's Corus to cut production by 20%

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London, Oct 17 (UNI) The turmoil in the global financial market has pushed Tata-owned steelmaker Corus to reduce its production by 20 per cent.

The cut, said the management, was due to drops in demand from its main customers in the automotive, construction and engineering sectors.

''The decision is aimed at aligning steel production with demand, which is now affected by the consequences of the global financial crisis,'' the company said.

However, it said no job cuts or layoffs are planned among Corus's 24,400 British workforce, nor among its 11,700 workers in the Netherlands.

Tata Steel said it did not plan to make cuts outside its European operations.

The production cuts mark the first significant scaleback by Britain's main steelmaker for several years and reflects the grim situation in the industry.

It will reduce output at its main sites of Port Talbot, Scunthorpe, Teesside and Rotherham in the UK, until the end of the year, when it will review output.

Corus's production cuts come after a series of output reductions by the world's biggest steelmakers, including SeverStal and Magnitogorsk, of Russia, ArcelorMittal and several of the largest Chinese producers.

Steel prices on the London Metal Exchange hit record lows this week on weakening demand. Yesterday Far East steel closed at 335 dollars a tonne, compared with highs of more than 940 dollars in July.

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