SÃO PAULO Brazilian pig iron exports plummeted to 100,130 tonnes in May, down 55.9 percent year on year from 227,062 tonnes, due to a weaker international market for the scrap substitute product, according to data from the countrys foreign trade ministry, MDIC.
Part of the fall was attributed to a 32.4 percent drop in demand from the United States, the main market for the Brazilian product, to 78,307 tonnes from 115,878 tonnes in the same comparison.
Taiwan also took in less pig iron from Brazil, at 6,696 tonnes, down 70.1 percent from 22,410 tonnes in May 2012.
Pará and Maranhão states, which make up Brazils northern region of Carajás, were the most affected as shipments plunged to 35,628 tonnes and 30,605 tonnes, respectively, from 83,247 tonnes and 80,636 tonnes in May 2012.
Minas Gerais, in Brazils southeastern region, was less affected with exports falling 39.3 percent to 33,297 tonnes from 54,869 tonnes in May of last year.
Between January and May, Brazilian exports totaled 1.2 million tonnes, down nearly 12 percent from 1.36 million tonnes in the corresponding 2012 period.
Shipments during the five-month period from Pará fell 48.4 percent to 254,010 tonnes from 492,354 tonnes a year earlier, while those from Maranhão dipped 5.1 percent to 488,489 tonnes from 514,917 tonnes. Minas Gerais, on the other hand, saw its shipments rise 36 percent to 430,005 tonnes from 316,141 tonnes.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.