• Russel Metals (TSX:RUS) CEO John Reid has written to shareholders regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic
  • In it, he stated that the world is facing an unprecedented challenge
  • The dual threats of COVID-19 and the oil price war have hammered the Canadian economy
  • The company has qualified as an essential service amid pandemic-related shutdowns
  • Russel Metals (TSX:RUS) is down 1.7 per cent, and is trading for $14.60, with a $900 million market cap

Russel Metals (TSX:RUS) CEO John Reid has written to shareholders regarding COVID-19, wider market forces, and their effects on the company.

The company has three distinct business segments; metals service centres, energy products, and steel distributors.

Russel Metals has continued to operate in all three streams, with some employees working from home and others working onsite.

John’s letter thanked the Russel Metals employees, healthcare workers, government officials, public service employees, grocery and service workers, and many others working through the shutdowns.

Russel Metals services industries such as utilities, defence, energy, construction and manufacturing sectors, including healthcare manufacturing business.

The company has stated that its metals service centre and steel distributor operations represent the largest portion of the business. However, it is the third sector of its business (which services the US oil sector) that took the hardest hit.

The oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia hit North American oil companies particularly hard. Now, in a recent announcement this weekend, OPEC agreed to slash prices by 10 million barrels for the year.

This cut represents the largest single production cut in history, and has provided a lifeline to North American energy companies.

The letter states that the company is a key contributor to the supply chains of the US and Canada.

“First and foremost, we maintain an unwavering commitment and dedication to the health and safety of every member of our Russel team and our valued partners.

“It is uplifting to see the leadership being demonstrated at every level of our organisation as we adjust to the the new reality.

“I want to encourage everyone to take great precautions to ensure your health and wellbeing of those around you. Society is experiencing a wide range of anxiety and trepidation as the world confronts something never seen before. But, I am confident that we will get through this together,” he said.

Russel Metals (TSX:RUS) is down 1.7 per cent, and is trading for $1`4.60 per share at 1:33pm EST.

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