Brazilian flat steel distributors’ April shipments jump 106.7% on year

Shipments by Brazilian independent flat steel distributors and service centers in April increased 106.7% year on year to 343,100 mt, recent data from Inda, the national flat products distributors association, showed May. 18. Shipments were up 1.5% on the month.

Out of the total in April, shipments of hot-rolled coils totaled 208,600 mt, up 127% on year, while zinc-coated flat steel sales volume totaled 61,700 mt, an increase of 38.6%.

Daily shipments by distributors in April totaled 17,200 mt, an increase of 97.7% compared to the year-ago month.

According to Inda’s president, Carlos Loureiro, the last price increase from the mills were between 10%-18% and were totally absorbed by the market.

“The May price increase was fully implemented and absorbed, but market participants are struggling to pass on these higher values,” Loureiro said. “There may be a possible increase in June because some plants are studying this. But there is no definition in this regard. Whether the increase happens will depend on the dollar and the international price.”

Domestic purchases from mills in April were up 92.7% year on year to 345,100 mt, according to Inda. Month on month, domestic purchases increased 1.5%.

Flat product inventories in the Brazilian distribution network stood at 713,200 mt at the end of April, up 0.3% from the end of March, while the inventory-turnover average closed April at 2.1 months of supply. Historical average levels were around three months.

Broken down by product, the inventory-turnover average went down on month for all products, including hot-rolled-coil (1.9 months of supply), cold-rolled-coil (1.8 months), zinc-coated flat steel (1.4 months) and heavy plate (5.2 months).

Flat steel imports in April by distributors totaled 125,400 mt, up 121.9% year on year. When compared to March, imports were down 10.7%.

For May, Inda expects purchases to remain stable and shipments to decrease about 5% compared to April.

— Priscilla Antunes