Brazilian flat steel distributor sales are expected to fall by 45pc in April 2020 from a year because the COVID-19 pandemic caused demand to plummet.
Flat steel sales decreased by 15.2pc to 265,300mt in March compared with the same month last year, Carlos Loureiro, the chairman of Brazil’s National Institute of Steel Distributors (Inda), said.
Distributors’ flat steel inventory rose by 0.9pc to 846,900mt in March from a month earlier, while the industry’s expectation for April inventory is to 843,700mt, it said.
The flat steel products which recorded the fall are thick plates, hot-rolled coil, cold-rolled coil, hot-zinc plated, and electro-galvanized, among others.
In H1 2020, flat steel sales are also expected to drop by 35pc due to lower demand from the automotive industry. Some Brazilian automotive plants have suspended production until at least June 22 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brazil’s crude steel production fell by 8.2pc to 2.6mn mt in March compared to the same month in 2019.