Brazilian flat steel distributors’ sales decreased by 37.6pc in April on an annual basis, because the COVID-19 pandemic cleaved demand.
Flat steel sales reached 165,900mt in last month against 266,000mt achieved in April 2019, according to Brazil’s National Institute of Steel Distributors (Inda).
Flat steel product purchases also decreased by 20.8pc to a 179,100mt in April 2020 from 266,300mt during the same month in 2019.
Distributors’ flat steel inventory increased by 7pc to 860,100mt in April from a year earlier, which is equivalent to 5.2 months of sales, with three months being the norm, said Inda.
Flat steel imports also declined by 37.9pc to 56,540mt in April on an annual basis, while imports reached 286,140mt between January and April, which is a 27.9pc compared to the same four-month period last year.
Last month, Inda said flat steel sales are expected to drop by 35pc in H1 2020 due to lower demand from the automotive industry. Some Brazilian automotive plants have suspended production until at least June 22 because of the pandemic.
Brazil’s crude steel production fell by 8.2pc to 2.6mn mt in March compared to the same month in 2019.