HomeGAA in the MediaNewsArchiveFelman cuts more workers


American Metal Market

By Daniel Fitzgerald

August 23, 2013

Felman cuts more workers amid silicomanganese lull

NEW YORK - Felman Production LLC is laying off another 100 workers at its suspended silicomanganese operations in New Haven, W.Va., due to ongoing low market pricing.

The latest cuts come after the company laid off 38 employees at the site in May (amm.com. May 20) and then temporarily suspended production at the end of June due to "challenging ferrosilicomanganese market conditions" (amm.com, June 28). "Felman has been carefully monitoring market conditions since its shutdown and its decision to further reduce its work force is a direct result of persisting low ferrosilicomanganese prices and high manufacturing costs," the company said.

The latest job cuts will take effect Aug. 31, leaving about 100 workers at the plant. The company said it will continue to operate its slag processing operation, while furnace maintenance personnel are being retained so that Felman "is prepared to resume operations if certain conditions permit it to do so," a company spokesman told AMM.

"Felman is currently reviewing" a number of options to ensure the company's long-term viability," the company said. 'The plant will continue to implement cost-control initiatives and conduct plantwide maintenance in preparation to restart its furnaces once the market environment has improved." The spokesman added that Felman "does not anticipate any further layoffs at this time."

Silicomanganese is trading in a range of 49 to 51 cents per pound, according to AMMs most recent assessment. Prices have dropped steadily from a range of 73 to 79 cents per pound in March 2012. 

Felman expects to meet its long-term contract sales commitments during the suspension, while "shipments in excess of contractual commitments will not be available until improvements are seen," a company spokesman said previously.