H1 Brazilian steel exports to Europe skyrocket 710% on year amid war in Ukraine

Exports of Brazilian steel products to Europe jumped 710% in the first half of 2022 to 909,828 mt, compared to 112,221 mt in H1 2021, filling the void left by regional suppliers Russia and Ukraine, according to latest data from national steel association Aço Brasil.

The export volume to Europe represented 13.4% of total Brazilian exports in January-June, compared to 2.2% in the same period of 2021, and was mainly composed of coated and uncoated flat steel products.

The supply restrictions derived from the Russia-Ukraine war also prompted Brazil to increase shipments to neighboring countries in Latin America, totaling at 2.12 million mt in H2, up 66.7% on the year. Shipments to Asia followed, totaling 174,663 mt, up 3.1% on the year, and shipments to Africa totaled 128,101 mt, up 594% on the year.

The US remained the main destination of Brazilian steel products, mainly consisting of slabs, at 3.24 million mt, but this figure was down 9.4% compared to H2 2021 exports.

The increase in exports was also favored by attractive foreign exchange rates and strong prices, coupled with a slow domestic market.

Trade barriers shift

The Brazilian Ministries of Economy and Foreign Affairs announced June 25 the revocation of restrictive measures against Brazilian exports of cold-rolled steel products by the US and the UK.

The US ceased to charge additional fees of up to 46% – 35% of which was an anti-dumping duty and 11% of which was a countervailing measure – on imports of CRC from Brazil, while keeping the measures on the same products charged from other origins, such as China, India, Japan, South Korea and the UK. The measure was in effect for five years.

Additionally, the UK excluded Brazil from the application of the safeguard measure on steel sheets and CRC products, which for a year had been subject to a 25% surcharge, once the pre-established maximum periodic volume has been exceeded.

On the contrary, however, the European Commission announced in late May provisional anti-dumping duty rates of 25% on electrolytic chromium coated steel, or ECCS, imported from China and Brazil after an investigation found that imports from the two countries undercut the EU industry’s prices. Definitive measures are set for Nov. 23.

— Adriana Carvalho