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2013 a mixed bag for Brazilian export markets

Keywords: Tags  Brazil exports, ferrous scrap, pig iron, steel slab, steel billet, iron ore, Ana Paula Camargo, Felipe Peroni

SÃO PAULO — Brazil saw diverging export trends in 2013, with outbound deliveries of ferrous scrap and iron ore rising while those of pig iron, steel slabs and billet declined.

The country exported 453,353 tonnes of ferrous scrap last year, up 2 percent from 444,366 tonnes in 2012, according to figures from Brazilian foreign trade ministry MDIC.

The increase was led by a rise in sales to Indonesia to 138,560 tonnes, nearly triple the year-earlier 51,050 tonnes, partially offset by a 55.7-percent drop in sales to India to 82,487 tonnes from 186,016 tonnes in 2012.

In December, Brazil exported 41,770 tonnes of ferrous scrap, down 9.9 percent from 46,384 tonnes in the corresponding month of 2012.

Iron ore to all of Brazil’s major markets also rose year on year, MDIC said, putting the tally up 0.9 percent to 326.5 million tonnes.

Iron ore exports to China totaled to 170.7 million tonnes, up 0.5 percent from 169.9 million tonnes; shipments to the European Union surged 9.3 percent to 61.22 million tonnes from 55.98 million tonnes; and those to Japan gained 0.3 percent to 31.26 million tonnes from 31.17 million tonnes.

In December, however, Brazilian iron ore exports to China fell slightly to 16.92 million tonnes from 17.01 million tonnes in the same month a year earlier; shipments to European countries increased to 5.8 million tonnes from 4.66 million tonnes; and deliveries to Japan declined to 3.58 million tonnes from 4.72 million tonnes.

Meanwhile, exports of pig iron declined 10.9 percent last year due to a reduced appetite from the United States, Brazil’s main market.

Shipments from the Latin American country totaled 2.69 million tonnes vs. 3.02 million tonnes in 2012. The United States took in 1.82 million tonnes of that total, down 12.5 percent from 2.08 million tonnes in the same comparison.

Taiwan also imported less pig iron from Brazil, at 215,918 tonnes in 2013 vs. 224,836 tonnes a year earlier.

Pig iron shipments to Mexico, however, increased to 225,460 tonnes from 118,144 tonnes.

In December, Brazilian pig iron exports rose 21.8 percent year on year to 313,962 tonnes, with shipments to the U.S. market gaining 20.2 percent to 214,689 tonnes from 178,641 tonnes in the same comparison.

Brazilian slab exports reached 3.94 million tonnes last year, down 20.5 percent from 4.95 million tonnes in 2012. The United States was the largest buyer of Brazilian slabs in 2013, taking in 2.62 million tonnes, up by 4.1 percent year on year.

Brazil’s billet exports fell by 47.6 percent to 245,084 tonnes from 467,679 tonnes in the same comparison.

In December, Brazil’s slab exports fell to 304,946 tonnes from 343,657 tonnes in the corresponding 2012 period, and billet exports plunged to 2,838 tonnes from 33,186 tonnes in December 2012.

Ana Paula Camargo, São Paulo, contributed to this story.

A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.

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