Gerdau’s Colombian subsidiary, Gerdau Diaco, expects its steel output and sales to fall by 20pc and 23pc, respectively, in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company is now working at pre-pandemic levels, Jefferson Marko, executive president at Gerdau Diaco, told a media outlet, noting that the firm depends on the scrap market, which has declined by 30pc this year compared to 2019. Marko added that Gerdau Diaco, which is the largest ferrous scrap recycler in the country, expects to recycle 250,000mt of scrap this year to produce steel, down by 28.5pc from 350,000mt recycled in 2019. Diaco is optimistic about its growth and the recovery of Colombian steel demand in 2021.
Colombia’s crude steel output decreased by 11.3pc to 103,092mt in September this year, from 116,275mt in the prior-year period, according to data from the Colombian Steel Committee (Andi). The country’s steel industry has shown initial signs of recovery since June after construction activities resumed. In July and August, Colombia produced 108,498mt and 113,033mt of crude steel, respectively.
The South American country consumes 1.5mn mt of steel per year, of which, about 1mn mt is produced domestically, while the balance 500,000mt is imported.