Steel demand in Brazil is expected to decrease by 50pc in April compared to March because of the effects COVID-19 has had on the industry, said the Brazilian Steel Institute.
Demand in Q2 2020 is also expected to decline by 40pc compared to first quarter volumes, the Institute’s president, Marco Polo de Mello Lopes, told media outlets.
Additionally, he said Brazilian steelmakers’ capacity utilization is below 60pc, which may further decrease because mills are contemplating additional output and furnace reductions.
ArcelorMittal Brazil has already stopped operations for 45 days at the No.3 blast furnace at its Tubarão Unit in Espírito Santo state due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, Brazilian steelmakers and iron ore miners, such as Usiminas, Gerdau, and Vale, have reduced or suspended production to comply with the government’s directives concerning COVID-19.
Brazil’s apparent steel consumption in February reached 1.7mn mt, up by 0.9pc compared to the same month in 2019. Crude steel production fell by 1.3pc in February to 2.70mn mt compared the same month in 2019, according to the latest figures from the Institute.
Brazil’s crude steel output decreased by 9pc to 32.2mn mt in 2019 from the year prior. On an annual basis, apparent steel consumption dropped by 2.7pc to 20.6mn mt in 2019, according to the Institute’s data.