SÃO PAULO Brazils flat steel imports fell 16 percent in 2012 as the local economy performed below expectations for the second half of the year.
Imports fell to about 1.74 million tonnes from 2.08 million tonnes in 2011, according to calculations by AMM sister publication Steel First based on data from the countrys Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade.
In the first half of last year, the country imported 923,911 tonnes of flat products, up almost 4 percent from the corresponding 2011 period.
Of the total volume imported in 2012, 686,565 tonnes (or 39.5 percent) arrived from China, down 17.4 percent from 831,510 tonnes the previous year.
South Korea was next, providing 176,666 tonnes, a 30.4-percent drop from the 253,934 tonnes recorded in 2011.
Russia (156,911 tonnes), Taiwan (129,605 tonnes) and Austria (112,069 tonnes) were the other main flat steel product suppliers.
Cold-rolled coil and sheet accounted for the largest volume of imports, at 500,248 tonnes, down 0.8 percent from 504,087 tonnes in 2011. Imports of hot-dipped galvanized coil and sheet totaled 326,459 tonnes, down 14.2 percent from 380,392 tonnes in the same comparison, and plate imports of 287,834 tonnes were virtually unchanged from the prior years 287,440 tonnes.
The highest decrease occurred in hot-rolled coil and sheet, which fell 46.5 percent to 279,763 tonnes last year from 523,157 tonnes in 2011.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.