Thursday, October 23, 2008

Daily news - 23 Oct

Hundreds of Delong workers put on long leave
Delong Holdings said yesterday that it had put a few hundred workers on leave and shut several furnaces in China's northern Hebei province because of weak demand. 'The workers have been put on extended leave,' said a spokesman for China-based Delong, a maker of steel coils. Domestic Chinese steel prices have plunged from their summer peak, cutting demand for raw material iron ore and leading analysts to say that most steel makers are losing money. Global crude steel production sank 3.2 per cent last month, and the world's biggest steelmaking country, China, suffered a sharp 9.1 per cent decline in output, the World Steel Association said yesterday. Earlier this month, smaller steelmaker FerroChina said that it was unable to repay 706 million yuan (S$153 million) in working capital loans and had suspended operations at its manufacturing plant in China. The global economic crisis has worsened the outlook for manufacturers in China, with several Hong Kong-linked firms closing factories and laying off staff in China. The government in China's manufacturing heartland of Guangdong may set up a fund to help workers laid off amid the global economic turmoil, state media said on Monday.

Source: Kim Eng

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