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Brazil minister: US tariffs yet to affect country’s steel sales

A portion of the product is being accommodated domestically

Published in 04/07/2018 - 16:43

By Wellton Máximo Brasília

The tariffs recently imposed on Brazilian steel by the US are yet to affect Brazil’s exports, Minister of Industry, Foreign Trade, and Services Marcos Jorge de Lima said today (Jul. 3). Preliminary consideration has found no impact on steel sales, so medium and long-term analysis is necessary to gauge the effects of the curbs.

“We have to observe how steel exports are to behave further ahead. Thus far, we’ve managed to maintain the average of exports to the US. Brazil has a low rate for the product in its final form, which is being accommodated domestically. However, we must see how shipments are going to behave until December,” the minister pointed out.

In June, Brazil exported $622 million in semi-manufactured iron and steel goods, nearly twice as much as the $312 million in the same month last year. Exported flexible iron and steel tubes added up to $161 million, compared to the $156 million in June, 2017.

To evade the 25% tariff on steel, Brazil and the US have used the average exported from 2015 to 2017 to set a maximum volume of shipments to go free of the tariff. The limit for semi-finished steel goods, used by US metal companies, is to stand at a hundred percent of the average. For finished goods, the limit was fixed at 70% of the average in the period.

The limits became effective on June 1. Brazil could not negotiate such rates for aluminum, which is to face a 10% tariff.

In the first month after the introduction of the barriers with the US, the minister reported, no increase was observed in the average of laminated steel from Russia and China sold to Brazil. This means, he said, that the steel that is no longer sold to the US has still not turned to Brazil.

“We’ve suspended anti-dumping measures for products [from Russia and China]. The suspension came alongside the surveillance of the imports of these products. But we haven’t seen a growth in the amount bought,” he noted.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira Edition: Nádia Franco / Augusto Queiroz

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