* EU steel demand expected to shrink again in 2013
* Steel derivatives branch seeing expansion
LONDON May 10 Weak steel market conditions have
pushed Trasteel, a steel and raw materials trading firm, to cut
jobs and restructure the company, chairman Massimo Bolfo said
Trasteel, which has offices in Dubai, Shanghai, Santiago and
Luxemburg, has replaced some executives and has cut eight
positions at its headquarters in Lugano, Switzerland, where 35
staff now work, to reduce costs.
Industry body Eurofer expects steel consumption to continue
to shrink in 2013 in the EU, after a 4.8 percent fall last year.
"Given the lower volumes of business and expectations of a
very difficult 2013 and 2014 we have decided to cut our
headcount," Bolfo said in a phone interview, adding that to
reduce fix costs, a few raw materials traders, who were
previously full-time staffers, had been hired as external
Bolfo, who was previously the CEO of Duferco, one of the
world largest steel trading and producing groups, founded
Trasteel in 2009. The company grew to reach turnover of almost
$1 billion in 2012 but Bolfo said it has since seen its sales
Monaco-based Levmet, Trasteel's steel derivatives joint
venture with industry veteran Ashley Levett, is still expanding
due to increasing customer demand for hedging services.
"Nowadays the iron ore derivatives market is very liquid,
and although liquidity on the steel side is not as high we have
many requests of hedging services, especially from steel
producers and raw materials buyers," Bolfo said.
(Reporting by Silvia Antonioli; editing by Elaine Hardcastle)