Brazil flat steel distributors’ shipments fall 16% on year in November

Shipments by Brazilian independent flat steel distributors and service centers dropped 16% on the year, or down 3.8% on the month, to 282,200 mt in November, according to data from the national flat products distributors association Inda on Dec. 14.

On the other hand, purchases fell 2.9% on the year, or dropped 1.1% on the month, to 283,000 mt in November.

“Distributors had discipline to not increase inventories, due to a certain instability on [domestic] prices],” said Carlos Loureiro, executive president of Inda, adding that a downward adjustment in prices is more likely than upwards.

Flat product inventories in the Brazilian distribution network totaled 827,100 mt compared with October. The average inventory-turnover was 2.9 months of supply.

Finished flat steel imports rose 143.2% on the year in November to 241,507 mt, mostly from China (59.1%).

“There is still a significant volume in the ports awaiting to dock and to be internalized. This situation will probably be normalized by Feb. 2022,” said Loureiro.

For the next year, Loureiro expects an increase of sales of about 3%, after a fall of up to 2% this year. “We grew more than the steel market in 2020, and this year it was offset. For 2022 it is expected a normalization, with a growth aligned with Brazil’s steel market.”

— Jose Guerra