OSLO, March 19 (Reuters) - Aluminium maker Norsk Hydro is reducing or halting production of some components for the auto and construction industries as demand is falling due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Norwegian company said in a statement on Thursday.
Hydro was maintaining output at its giant primary metals plants, which turn raw materials into slabs of aluminium, but was slashing output at several facilities that turn those metal blocks into products for a wide range of industries.
“The impact is currently most visible in the automotive segment and in building and construction, and more broadly in southern Europe,” Hydro said.
“Consequently, Extruded Solutions is reducing and temporarily closing some activities in France, Spain and Italy,” it added.
Depending on further action by governments around the world, as well as customer demand, Hydro could take further measures to adapt to the situation.
“Reducing or halting production at plants may lead to temporary layoffs,” the company said.
While Hydro’s bauxite mining, alumina production, energy production and primary metals output were running as normal, the market uncertainty was high across all units, it added.
The price of primary aluminium had fallen in recent weeks to the lowest level since 2016.
“Hydro’s corporate emergency team is mobilized, working closely with all business areas to monitor and coordinate contingency planning and mitigating measures across the company,” it said.
Reporting by Terje Solsvik Editing by Marguerita Choy