Steel consumption in Brazil and Mexico could improve in the near term on stronger demand from the automotive, construction, and agribusiness industries.
On Apr 21, Cesar Perez, commercial and marketing director of long steel division at Gerdau Brazil, indicated during a webinar developed by the Colombian Steel Committee (Andi), that Brazil’s steel demand could increase 12pc on an annual basis in 2021.
He noted that Brazil’s steel consumption may rise in the second half of this year driven by higher demand from the agribusiness sector, an industry that received a boost from a 66pc demand increase from the trucking industry in the first quarter of this year.
Mexico’s steel consumption is expected to increase by 7.5pc to 23.4mn mt in 2021, from 21.7mn mt in 2020, Oscar Montero, planning and global business development general director at Ternium Mexico said in the webinar, adding that steel consumption will increase by 5.5pc to 24.6mn mt in 2022.
The COVID-19 pandemic impacted raw material prices in Q4 2020 compared to the same period of the prior year, Montero noted, adding that prices for iron ore increased by 100pc, while scrap prices rose by 85pc in the period.
The Mexican steel industry will face challenges in the short term such as higher pressure on prices for commodities, shipping, and logistics for the steel products, Montero indicated.
Brazil’s scrap prices increased by 150pc year-on-year in February 2021, while iron ore prices climbed by 135pc in the same period, Perez noted.
Brazil’s crude steel output rose by 4.1pc to 2.80mn mt in March, from 2.69mn mt in the same month the prior year.