Global crisis affecting Brazilian ferrous scrap exports

Brazil’s ferrous scrap exports have been falling “sharply” over the past few months on the back of the global crisis in the steel sector, the local institute of iron and steel scrap companies, Inesfa, said on Tuesday July 16.

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Exports have been falling “since the beginning of the year”, Inesfa said, noting that they fell from 57,425 tonnes in January to only 12,949 tonnes in June.

Shipments abroad dropped from 42,930 tonnes in February to 40,524 tonnes in March, and from 39,421 tonnes in April to 24,057 tonnes in May, according to Inesfa.

The decrease takes place after a significant rise in the country’s exports over the past few years, which was driven by higher purchases from Asia.

“Most of the [Brazilian] exports are shipped to Asian countries, businesses that began to accentuate in 2008, because of the retraction of the domestic market and the increase in inventories,” the institute said.

Brazil’s ferrous scrap exports boosted to 444,365 tonnes last year from 258,767 tonnes in 2011 and only 80,468 tonnes in 2010, which prompted the country’s steelmakers’ association, IABr, to ask for an export tax on the product.

Inesfa filed an objection to the demand in January, and the case is yet to be analysed by Brazilian authorities.