Steelmaker Arcelor Mittal has a view of the global economy that’s in sharp divergence from the rosy statements from many big global multinationals.
Third-quarter earnings were strong, but its outlook is weak.
Steel demand is still well below pre-crisis levels, as the construction and automobile sectors struggle to recover.
In the third quarter, Arcelor’s operations were running at 71 per cent of total capacity, down from 78 per cent in the previous three months. The Luxembourg-based company attributed the decline to a “seasonal slowdown, primarily in Europe.”
Arcelor was cautious in its outlook for the fourth quarter, “as the expected higher input prices continue to work through the business and demand remains muted, though with some regional differences,” Chief Executive Lakshmi N. Mittal said in a statement.
In China, demand fell in the third quarter amid monetary tightening, Arcelor’s Chief Financial Officer Aditya Mittal told journalists. “Clearly there was a cooling-down in the second half of the year,” he said.
Shares are off about 5% in European trading.
You can look through the company’s announcement here: