Colombia’s steel industry has requested its federal government to adopt measures that can help the industry strengthen its liquidity to bide over the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The measures consist of deferring VAT and tariffs payment of steel products by 90 days to enable companies to pay their employees and avoid layoffs during the health emergency, the Colombian Steel Chamber (Camacero) said in a statement on Friday.
Moreover, it has requested that the 130,000mt of export quality steel products lying in the ports be transported to the importing country’s warehouses along with the additional 300,000mt that will arrive at the ports over the next two months.
This move, Camacero noted, will allow ports to free the space being used by steel companies at present to store other essential items such as grains and food, and medical products to attend to the needs of consumers during the pandemic.
Colombia imports about 180,000mt of steel products per month mainly from China, Korea, and Japan.
The country’s steel production fell by 1.5pc to 95,000mt in January 2020, according data from the Latin American Steel Association.