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Prysmian to expand, add Paragould jobs

Prysmian Group will spend $2.8 million to expand its facility in Paragould and will hire 12 new workers, the company and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission said Monday in a news release.

Prysmian designs, develops, manufactures, markets and distributes copper, aluminum and fiber-optic wire and cable products for communications, electrical and energy markets. The company said it has more than 100 facilities around the world, with 182 employees in Paragould.

The Paragould facility was opened by Prestolite in 1989 until that company's purchase by General Cable in 2012. The Prysmian Group, which is based in Milan, bought General Cable in 2018.

-- Stephen Steed

U.S. move said likely to lift tomato prices

The U.S. is set to withdraw today from a trade pact with its top tomato supplier, Mexico.

The expiration of the so-called Tomato Suspension Agreement will trigger duties of more than 17% on supplies crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. The decision was made in part to protect Florida's tomato growers.

Prices for tomato imports jumped when the move was announced by the U.S. Department of Commerce on Feb. 6, and will likely increase again to account for the duties, according to David Magana, a senior analyst at Rabobank International.

The tariffs could "impact prices in the U.S. in a matter of days," Magana said in an email Monday.

U.S. tomato retail prices could climb by 40% to as much as 85%, with the bigger gains likely coming in the October-June period, when Florida production slows and Americans are more reliant on imports, according to a study by Arizona State University. The study was commissioned by the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas.

On April 26, the average cost had fallen to about 98 cents a pound, the lowest since October, the most recent government data show.

-- Bloomberg News

State index edges up 0.64, ends at 425.77

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed at 425.77 Monday, up 0.64.

Tyson Foods led the index stocks, rising 6.2% after posting second-quarter earnings that beat analyst estimates. Shares of P.A.M. Transportation Services fell 3.1%.

"After a big sell-off at the open, stocks rallied on Monday to close at a slight loss after President Trump threatened to raise tariffs on Chinese goods," said Chris Harkins, managing director at Raymond James & Associates in Little Rock.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

Business on 05/07/2019

Print Headline: Prysmian to expand, add Paragould jobs U.S. move said likely to lift tomato prices State index edges up 0.64, ends at 425.77

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