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Sep 01, 2009

Daily Podcast - September 1, 2009

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This podcast is brought to you by Sarens-nothing too heavy, nothing too high.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009.

From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Jonathan Faurie.

Making headlines today:

Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa announced on Monday that its flat steel prices would rise by between 2% and 4% in October, while its long steel product prices would remain unchanged.

The company reports that international steel prices are continuing to gain momentum but these gains are somewhat offset by the continued strong performance of the rand against the US dollar.

ArcelorMittal South Africa has, since the middle of the year, introduced steady increases in steel prices, after prices fell by more than 60% at the onset of the global economic crisis in September last year.

The steelmaker had increased its prices by between 3% and 5% in July and August, while only some of its flat steel product prices had increased by between R250/t and R750/t, in September.

The Southern African division of paper and pulp producer Sappi has started a consultation process with employees and labour unions over the possible retrenchment of up to 400 employees at three of its South African mills.

Sappi Southern Africa CEO Jan Labuschagne announced in a statement that it would start consultations with employees at its Enstra fine paper mill, near Springs, at its Ngodwana kraft paper mill, in Mpumalanga province, and at its Tugela kraft paper mill, near KwaZulu-Natal.

The consultations would deal with proposals for cost reduction and efficiency improvement initiatives to ensure that the division improves its profitability and delivers acceptable returns, he added.

He said that the proposed actions are required to successfully meet the challenges of the depressed economic conditions that it is experiencing in the domestic and export markets for fine paper and kraft products.

Also making headlines:

South Africa's July trade surplus reaches R447m.
Communication Minister announces South Africa to release broadband policy soon.
Bidvest looking to expand into automotive, and food services industry.
And, Trade Ministers to meet in India on Doha talks.

That's a roundup of news making headlines today. For more on these and other stories please visit


Edited by: Jonathan Faurie
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