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Forum Communications, Published July 23 2012

Weak scrap metal markets blamed for Minnesota layoffs

DULUTH - A stagnant scrap metal market and a glut of new steel has forced Two Harbors manufacturer Stanley/LaBounty into layoffs, general manager Steve Tarr said Monday.

Tarr would not offer details on the number of layoffs or the number of employees at the plant but did say he expects the cuts to be temporary.

The plant manufactures specialized equipment including hydraulic metal shears for the demolition and scrap metal industries. Tarr said demand for the equipment is off as prices for scrap metal have dropped dramatically along with new steel prices, which are down because of a glut on the market.

Tarr said scrap metal is selling at $308 per ton today compared to $400 and more in May. That’s a 25 percent decrease in prices that has scrap dealers holding on to what they have until prices recover, Tarr said.