Brazil’s steel industry expects the Biden administration to review the steel import quotas imposed under former US President Donald Trump that limit the entry of imported steel from the South American country.
Marco Polo de Mello Lopes, executive president of the Brazilian Steel Association (IABR) told local media on Tuesday that Biden’s recently announced $2.3tn infrastructure plan could provide the impetus for the review since US mills might not have the capacity to supply the steel to meet the plan’s requirements.
Lopes added that the demand created by the infrastructure overhaul in the US would likely increase the country’s imports of semi-finished steel from Brazil.
In 2019, the South American country exported 8.64mn mt of semi-finished steel products and exported 5.63mn mt of this amount to the US, according to the 2020 annual report released by the Brazilian Steel Institute (Aço Brasil).
According to US Census Bureau data, Brazil’s steel shipments to the US climbed by 542pc to 217,049mt in February, from 33,803mt in the same month in 2020, exports of carbon non-alloy climbed by 412.6pc to 157,432mt from 30,708mt, and alloy steel products shipments jumped by 1,999pc to 59,238mt from 2,821mt in the same time frame.
On December 2, 2019, President Donald Trump announced the US would reinstate a 10pc aluminum and 25pc steel tariff on Brazil.
The South American country is the third-largest exporter of steel to the US, comprising about 12pc of US steel imports. Brazilian steelmakers can ship up to 3.5mn mt of steel to the US per year under these tariffs at present.
Brazil’s crude steel output rose by 3.8pc to 2.8mn mt in February, from 2.7mn mt in February 2020, IABR figures indicated.