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LatinNews Daily - 22 April 2021

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In brief: Good domestic performance for Brazilian steel

* The Instituto Aço Brasil, the Brazilian industry association of steel producers, has released figures on the sector’s performance in the first quarter of this year. These show a strong performance domestically, with production of crude steel growing 6.2% on Q1 last year to 8.7m tonnes (t), while domestic sales totalled 5.9m t, a 29% increase on the same period last year. Steel imports to Brazil for Q1 totalled 1.1m t for a total value of US$944m (a 104.1% and 67.6% increase on 2020, respectively), while exports grew 17.1% to 2.7m t, for a total value of US$1.7bn (up 6.7% on last year). Marco Polo de Mello Lopes, the executive president of Instituto Aço Brasil, said that “the Brazilian steel industry has been recurrently increasing its sales to the domestic market, with higher volumes than those seen in the pre-[coronavirus] pandemic period”, adding that this uptick in demand reflects the resumption of consumption as well as the creation of some “defensive stocks” due to volatility in the market and the spike in commodities prices.