SÃO PAULO, Brazil Brazilian flat steel producer Usinas Siderúrgicas de Minas Gerais SA (Usiminas) has been sitting out of the spot export market for the last few months due to low prices, according to a senior executive.
"We are out of the spot market, which is very weak, and weve been focusing instead on direct flat steel exports to some old customers," commercial vice president Sérgio Leite told AMM sister publication Steel First.
Usiminas, Latin Americas largest flat-rolled steel producer, stopped offering export cargoes in the spot market early in the year, trading sources said. Throughout 2012, the company sold several flat steel cargoes through trading companies to customers in Europe, the United States and Latin America.
"We continue selling to some customers, such as (in) Argentina, for example, but those are direct sales," Leite said last week on the sidelines of the 24th Brazilian Steel Congress, organized by the countrys steel association, IABr.
In the first quarter of 2013, Usiminas exports increased by 37 percent year on year to 365,000 tonnes of steel products. But exports fell sharply in the quarterly comparison from 522,000 tonnes in the fourth quarter 2012, according to its first-quarter financial report.
The company has not been exporting commercial-quality slabs, only out-of-specification material, Leite added.
"Were not exporting prime material this year," he said.
A version of this article was first published in AMM sister publication Steel First.