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Steel body expects industry to shrink

Seifsa has revised its expected performance for 2014 from 3.5 percent growth.

FILE: Seifsa has revised its expected performance for 2014 from 3.5 percent growth. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa (Seifsa) says it expects the industry to contract by up to 2.5 percent this year, following two debilitating wage strikes by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa).

Seifsa has revised its expected performance for 2014 from 3.5 percent growth to at least 1.5 percent contraction.

The federation represents more than 2,000 steel and engineering companies. More than 60 percent of its production is exported overseas.

Seifsa chief economist Henk Langenhoven says the contraction may result in job losses, although the strikes are not the only cause of poor performance.

"There will no doubt be losses in employment and we are aware of processes going on. We are exposed to administered prices in terms of electricity and logistics costs."

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