Contrary to the gloomy outlook in the past few years, steelmaker ArcelorMittal SA is bracing for growth. The company has had its back against the wall for a while now, as it grapples with a myriad problems, particularly cheap imports, weak domestic steel demand and global oversupply of steel. In the past five years, ArcelorMittal’s shares on the JSE have plummeted 89.24%, compared to the JSE’s industrial metals index, which is down 36.16%. In the same period, the all share index is up 22.59%. The SA government’s imposition of import protection measures has given ArcelorMittal a breather as the influx of imports in the past few years throttled steel prices and exacerbated the negative effect of a lacklustre local economy. When it released its results for the six months ended June 30, ArcelorMittal said imports had declined by 31%, compared to the same period in 2017. This decline in imports has coincided with a much-improved outlook in the global steel market. In the first half of 20...

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