Brazil’s flat steel sales fall 6.6% in September

Brazilian flat steel distributors and service centres saw sales drop by 6.6% month-on-month in September, reaching 353,800 tonnes, local association Inda said on Thursday October 25.

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Last month’s sales declined by 9.1% compared with those in September 2011, from 389,400 tonnes.

Inda members purchased 340,800 tonnes of flat steel products in August, down by 9.7% over the previous month, but an increase of 3.1% year-on-year.

Distributors’ inventories fell by 1.4% month-on-month in September, to 949,300 tonnes. This volume represents 2.7 months’-worth of sales, according to the association.

Shipments of heavy plate amounted to 36,900 tonnes in September, a decrease of 7% over the previous month, while distributors’ purchases dropped by 34%, to 38,000 tonnes.

Heavy plate inventory levels therefore increased to 4.9 months’-worth of sales.

Between January and September, flat sales from Inda members increased by only 0.7% year-on-year, to 3.25 million tonnes, while purchases totalled 3.2 million tonnes, up by 4.1%.

For October, Inda expects both flat steel sales and purchases to increase by about 12%.

The Brazilian flat steel industry has still to experience a challenging outlook in October, but inventory levels may decline on there being more working days, Barclays Capital analyst Leonardo Corrêa said in a report this week.

“The inventory-to-shipments ratio should decrease to below historical levels of 2.4 [months’-worth of sales],” he noted.