Canadian Manufacturing

Australia’s largest steelmaker posts $1B loss

Australia's largest steel maker BlueScope Steel Ltd. will shut two production facilities and shed 1,000 jobs after posting a $1.09-billion annual loss.

SYDNEY, Australia—Australia’s largest steel maker will shut two production facilities and shed 1,000 jobs as part of restructuring aimed at turning around a CAN$1.09-billion annual loss.

BlueScope Steel Ltd. said it will shut down a blast furnace at Port Kembla in New South Wales state and close its Western Port hot strip mill in Victoria state.

The Port Kembla closure will result in 800 job losses, while 200 jobs will be cut at Western Port.

The company reported a AU$1.05-billion net loss for the fiscal year to June 30, compared to a AU$126 million profit in the previous year.

BlueScope said the high Australian dollar, which is near record highs, low steel prices and high raw material costs were compounded by low domestic steel demand.

The closure of the plants will better align BlueScope’s production with demand from Australia, and the company will no longer export its products, he said.

Export sales delivered an AU$487 million loss in the last fiscal year, BlueScope reported.

Total earnings loss was AU$1.04 billion, compared to earnings of AU$240 million in the prior year.

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