Despite a challenging first half of the year, the Brazilian steel industry has seen steel sales volumes reach pre-Covid-19 levels, a senior executive at the Brazilian Steel Association, IABr, said during the trade group’s web-based Brazil Steel Conference on Friday.
Marco Polo de Mello Lopes, executive president at IABr, said the Brazilian steel industry was hit the hardest in April, when the segment’s capacity reached 45 percent and steelmakers had to halt blast furnaces.
“Then, May was better than April, June better than May, and so forth,” he said.
Polo said the industry should be operating at least at 80 percent its capacity to remain competitive. But despite the challenges, Lopes said the Brazilian steel industry has now seen a surprising recovery.
“Steel sales volumes are now reaching pre-Covid levels,” he said, despite not providing specific figures.
Lopes said Brazil’s concession and privatizations program, known as PPI, represent an opportunity for the local steel industry. He said PPI forecasts to auction or sell BRL 319 billion ($59.03 billion) in state-owned projects this year.
“That would represent about 70 percent of domestic steel sales volumes in 2020,” the executive said.