A delegation of the Brazilian Steel Institute (IABr) will soon visit the United States to present its view against the imposition of higher tariffs on the steel exported from Brazil to the U.S.
The U.S Department of Commerce has recently concluded an investigation to evaluate if steel imports are threatening the US security (Article 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962). The report has already been sent to the White House which has up to 90 days to make a decision.
Brazil does not consider itself as part of the U.S. steel problems, since more than 80% of its steel exports to the United States are of semi-finished products, which are used and processed by the American industry. Its expectation is that the U.S. could choose to place contry-by-country barriers, with different types of restriction such as surcharges or quotas.
The Global Steel Trade Monitor (of the International Trade Administration – U.S. Department of Commerce) in its December 2017 issue said that Brazil is the eleventh-largest steel exporter in the world and that itexports steel to more than 150 countries and territories : “ In year-to-date 2017 (through September), further referred to as YTD 2017, Brazil exported 11 million metric tons of steel, up 9 percent from YTD 2016 levels. Brazil’s exports represented about 3 percent of all steel exported globally in 2016. The volume of Brazil’s 2016 steel exports was nearly the same size as the tenth-largest exporter, France, and about 12 percent of the volume of the world’s largest exporter, China. In value terms, steel represented just 3 percent of the total goods Brazil exported in 2016.”
According to the same source, semi-finished steel accounted for 65 percent of Brazil’s steel exports by volume in YTD 2017 at 7.1 million metric tons. Flat products represented the second-largest category at 21 percent (2.3 million metric tons), followed by long products at 10 percent (1.1 million metric tons), pipe and tube at 3 percent (344 thousand metric tons), and stainless steel at one percent (76 thousand metric tons, down 27 percent from YTD 2016).
The Global Trade Monitor informed also that Brazil’s top export markets by volume vary by type of steel product. The United States led in two of the top five product categories in YTD 2017. The United States was the largest market for Brazil’s pipe and tube products at 43 percent (148 thousand metric tons). The United States also led as a destination for Brazil’s exports of semi-finished exports (44% or 3.1 million metric tons). Portugal was the largest market for Brazil’ exports of flat products at 14% (328 thousand metric tons). Bolivia was the largest market for Brazil’s exports of long products at 18 percent (201 thousand metric tons), while Belgium was the largest market for Brazil’s stainless products at 20 percent (16 thousand metric tons). The United States came in second as a destination for Brazil’s flat exports (13% or 296 thousand metric tons), and the United States also came in second as a destination for Brazil’s long products (17% or 198 thousand metric tons).