Brazil's copper producer Paranapanema has been increasing its exports of cathodes, wires and rods as domestic demand continues to weaken, the company's ceo told Metal Bulletin on Monday April 13.

“Demand has been slower in the domestic market, mainly due to the difficulty of financing,” Christophe Akli said during an interview during the annual CESCO week in Santiago, Chile.

A shrinking Brazilian economy is behind that, prompting also a more cautious attitude from Paranapanema as the risk of default grows.

This scenario naturally enhances the appeal of exports, despite “premiums that have not been extraordinary”, Akli said.

Paranapanema expects exports to account for about 45% of its total sales in 2015, compared with nearly 33% last year.

In 2014, the company’s production for sales stood at 305,353 tonnes, according to its latest financial report.

China figures as the main destination for Paranapanema’s copper cathodes – the company based in Bahia state is the sole cathode producer in Brazil.

Wires and rods shipments abroad are “not very relevant yet”, but have also been growing, mainly in the Americas, Akli said.

“This [increase in exports] has been helping to offset the impact of a slower domestic market,” the executive added.

Paranapanema’s efforts to reshape its business and reduce costs, associated with the weakening of Brazilian Real against the US dollar have also been helping to improve the results.

“A weaker Real is very positive for our company,” Akli said.

Refining “costs have been falling a lot”, as nearly 95% of its costs are in Brazilian currency, the executive added.

Danielle Assalve
Twitter: @dassalve_mb