Brazil becomes ArcelorMittal’s top market, China sales slump

Brazil overtook the US as ArcelorMittal’s largest country in terms of sales in the first half of 2021, following the divestment last December of ArcelorMittal USA. Sales in top European markets also came storming back in H1, Kallanish notes.

Notwithstanding the lower US revenue, sales in Brazil soared 118% on-year to $3.97 billion in H1. US sales were at $3.4 billion, down 39%. Germany was third, with sales surging 50% to $3.02 billion, while Italy stormed into fourth, with a 78% leap to $2.67 billion. This left France and Poland fifth and sixth respectively with $2.49 billion and $2.33 billion, up 72% and 50%.

Having soared last year, sales in China came crashing back down, by 48% in H1 to $397 million. Chinese economic activity remains robust but the pace of growth has moderated amid diminishing policy support, ArcelorMittal says.

China’s GDP growth recovery versus 2020 continues to be driven by investment – fixed asset investment continues to follow pre-pandemic trend, the steelmaker says. “Past-focus in infrastructure investment has been supporting the output of a number of mid-stream manufacturing industries and imports of raw materials,” it comments.

“While growth is expected to slow in the second half of 2021 as investment – particularly in infrastructure and real estate – weakens, household spending and corporate investment will likely overtake real estate, infrastructure and exports as the driver of growth,” it adds.

Adam Smith Germany