FOCUS: Venezuela’s HBI industry paralyzed, no restart in sight

Widespread work stoppages resulting from strike action, and interruptions to the iron ore supply chain, have paralyzed the hot-briquetted iron (HBI) industry in Venezuela, sources have told Fastmarkets recently.

“There has been a general work stoppage [in Bolivar state, where industry is concentrated] for the past 40 days,” one source told Fastmarkets. “All plants are [closed] down, whether it is mining, HBI, steel, alumina or aluminum. Nobody knows when it is going to end or when operations will resume.” Workers are on strike in protest against a new monetary policy that was implemented in Venezuela in July. Part of this reform was that the government set the same salary for everyone, with all perks and privileges being eliminated, another source said. Among the companies affected by the strike action is Ferrominera Orinoco (FMO), the only legally authorized producer and seller of iron ore in Venezuela. “FMO is on strike and cannot deliver iron ore to Orinoco Iron or to the Sidor pellet plant,” the first source added. Four of the five HBI producers in Venezuela...


Marina Shulga

October 19, 2018

15:43 GMT