Trade Cases

Brazil Considering a Rate Hike for Steel Tariffs

Written by Sandy Williams

Brazil is studying a proposal to raise import tariffs on steel goods said Brazilian Finance Minister Joaquim Levy following a hearing of the Economic Affairs Committee of the Senate. The measures would protect the local steel industry which has been vocal in its demand for a rate hike.

No details on specific products or rates were given but the Folha de S Paulo news reported that rates for some steel products could rise to between 15 and 20 percent from the current rate of 8 percent to 14 percent.

The news prompted a rise in share price at Brazilian steel companies.

In September 2012 tariffs for 100 products, including steel, were raised from 14 percent to 25 percent but were restored after one year.

According to Foreign Trade Ministry statistics, steel imports in the first ten months of 2015 totaled 3 million tonnes, down 13.5 percent year over year from 3.98 million tonnes. The value of the steel imports, however, dropped from $698.88 million FOB in 2014 to $443.21 million FOB in 2015.

October steel sheet products dropped 38.3 percent from the same month in 2014. HRC imports were up 116.5 percent y/y, CRC fell by 4.66 percent and hot dip galvanized imports dropped by 58.86 percent.

Imports of finished steel from China increased 5 percent in Latin America between January and September 2015, reaching 6.3 million tons. However, China imports to Brazil decreased 35 percent during the period.

A decision a tariff increase is anticipated by the end of the year.

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