The Brazilian branch of Luxembourg-based steelmaker ArcelorMittal has scheduled the restart of primary steel production at its Barra Mansa site for the second half of 2021, the company said on Wednesday May 26.With 19 million Reais ($3.6 million) in investments for a revamp, ArcelorMittal will resume activities with one of the two electric arc furnaces in the plant. The company first cut output at Barra Mansa in February 2019.
The electric steel mill can produce 800,000 tonnes per year of crude steel, according to information made public in 2018 by Brazilian antitrust regulator Cade. Finished steel products made at the site include rebar and merchant bar.
Quick demand recovery from 2020 lows caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and low inventories on top of tight supply have helped to keep steel rebar prices close to historic highs in Brazil this year.
Fastmarkets’ latest assessment for steel reinforcing bar (rebar) domestic, monthly, delivered Brazil, was 5,560-5,690 Reais per tonne on May 14, down slightly from an all-time high of 5,630-5,700 Reais per tonne on April 9.
The midpoint of the assessed range rose by 136.34% from 2,310-2,450 Reais per tonne on March 13, 2020, when Covid-19 first began to spread in Brazil.
Data from Brazil’s steelmaker association, Instituto Aço Brasil, shows that apparent long steel consumption totaled 3.75 million tonnes in the January-April period of 2021, up by 42% from 2.64 million tonnes a year before.
Meanwhile, long steel rolling output was 3.59 million tonnes in the same period, a 24.13% year-on-year increase from 2.89 million tonnes.
“The restart of the steel mill was motivated by higher market demand for steel and by estimates on economic growth in the country,” ArcelorMittal said.
According to the steelmaker, its facilities in the Rio de Janeiro state were operating at full capacity for finished products, since demand has remained strong from construction and industrial sectors.
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