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LatinNews Daily - 23 February 2021

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In brief: Positive forecast for Brazil’s steel sector

* Instituto Aço Brasil, the Brazilian association of steel producers, has announced that it has positive expectations for the sector’s performance in 2021. Steel production tumbled in 2020 as the industry ground to a halt during part of last year due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, although domestic sales increased. The Instituto Aço Brasil now expects to see production increase 6.7% this year to a total 33m tonnes of crude steel, and domestic sales grow 5.3% to 20.3m tonnes. The executive president of the institute, Marco Polo de Mello Lopes, has revealed that production increased 11% year-on-year in January while domestic sales grew 26%. The Instituto does note, however, that the steel industry’s performance this year will in part depend on the success of the Brazilian government’s Covid-19 vaccination programme in bringing the pandemic under control, as well as the advance of the announced tax and administrative reforms.