Brazil flat steel distributors’ February shipments down 3.8% on year

Shipments by Brazilian independent flat steel distributors and service centers in February decreased 3.8% year on year to 313,300 mt, recent data from Inda, the national flat products distributors association, showed March 23. Shipments were up 9.8% on month.

Shipments of hot-rolled coils totaled 167,300 mt in February, up 16.1% on year, while zinc-coated flat steel sales volume totaled 69,800 mt, an increase of 1.8%.

Domestic purchases from mills in February were up 5.1% year on year to 321,900 mt, according to Inda. Month on month, domestic purchases fell 4.2%.

Flat product inventories in the Brazilian distribution network reached 696,500 mt at the end of February, up 1.4% from the end of January, while the inventory-turnover average closed February at 2.2 months of supply. Historical average levels are around three months.

““In this environment of steel price volatility, reduced inventories is a way to reduce costs,” said Inda President Carlos Loureiro.

Flat steel imports in February by distributors totaled 101,950 mt, up 57.3% year on year.

— Jose Guerra