SÃO PAULO Usinas
Siderúrgicas de Minas Gerais SA (Usiminas) sold 1.59
million tonnes of steel in the first quarter, up 5.2 percent
year on year, the Brazilian steelmaker said.
The increase was led by a
37.2-percent increase in steel product exports to 365,000
tonnes from 266,000 tonnes. However, sales to the domestic
market fell 1.6 percent to 1.22 million tonnes from 1.24
million tonnes in the same comparison.
"In terms of price increases, we
came ahead of our competitors and this led us to lose sales
volume in the (Brazilian) distribution sector in the first
quarter," Usiminas vice president Sérgio Leite said
during an April 26 earnings call.
Leite estimated that the
difference between domestic and import prices in Brazil is now
between 5 and 10 percent for flat-rolled products, "but closer
to the low range."
Meanwhile, the companys
Mineração Usiminas mining arm by year-end expects
to decide on an iron ore output expansion that would lift
capacity to 29 million tonnes per year.
The project, which was to be
completed in two stages, was initially scheduled to come into
operation in 2015.
Usiminas said last year that the
plan was being re-evaluated and would be submitted to
shareholders for approval in the first quarter of 2013.
The first stage would lift the
projects capacity to 12 million tonnes annually from the
current 8 million tonnes, which director Wilfred Bruijn
confirmed during the call is scheduled to come on-stream in the
second half of 2013.
The second stage, which is
pending shareholder approval, would then lift output to 29
million tonnes per year.
sold 1.34 million tonnes of iron ore in the first quarter, down
22.5 percent year on year. This was mainly due to an 85-percent
drop in domestic market sales to 48,000 tonnes from 322,000
Iron ore output totaled 1.65
million tonnes for the quarter, down 10.8 percent from 1.85
million tonnes a year earlier.
A version of this article was first
published by AMM sister publication Steel