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Financial News: BRAZIL: Usiminas And Gerdau Increase Steel Prices For

BRAZIL: Usiminas And Gerdau Increase Steel Prices For Local Distributors

01/23/2018 - 18:22:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Usiminas and Gerdau increased flat steel prices for distributors in Brazil, said the chairman of the Brazilian Institute of Steel Distributors (Inda), Carlos Loureiro. The decision comes up only a few weeks after Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional (CSN), and ArcelorMittal increased their prices.

Usiminas raised the price by 13% from January 19 and Gerdau by 12.5% from January 5. CSN and Arcelor had already increased their prices by about 12%. Loureiro believes that if steel prices overseas and the U.S. dollar remain at their current levels, there is no prospect of further increases in the domestic market in the short term.

He noted, however, that raw material prices should remain strong in China.

"We have information that the Chinese mills are doing well, and the expectation for the coming months is that prices will not fall, they must be firm," Inda's chairman told a news conference.

Despite the higher domestic prices for steel, Loureiro said that imports would not increase dramatically, only in some segments due to supply problems. According to him, Usiminas, for example, has almost no offer of galvanized steel. Some imports may occur to supply consumer industries.

Loureiro also does not see an acceleration of imports after the government failed to apply antidumping tariffs on Chinese and Russian steel immediately. The investigation had taken place since 2016 at the request of steelmakers, but the Ministry of Finance and Agriculture were against the measure because they claimed that it would harm consumer sectors and that it would provoke retaliation from China and Russia.

"I do not see any increase in hot-rolled coil imports because of this and, in any case, in the event of an import explosion, the government can trigger anti-dumping measures," he said.

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