Gerdau to restart EAF mill in Brazil

Steelmaker cites improved demand for steel in that nation.

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April 26, 2021

Brazil-based steel producer Gerdau SA says it is restarting an electric arc furnace (EAF) steel mill in Guaíra, Brazil, in the second half of this year because of “the positive scenario for steel demand” in that nation.

In a 2017 U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing, Gerdau describes the Guaíra mill as an EAF minimill that produces steel billet. Guaíra is located in the state of São Paulo and is about 280 miles inland from the large Brazilian city for which that state is named.

In its April news release announcing the planned restart, Gerdau refers to the Guaíra plant as having “annual crude steel production capacity of 420,000 tons” and says the mill “has been in hibernation since 2014.”

The steelmaker says it will gradually resume operations at the Guaíra mill, “adjusting its production volume to the evolution of the domestic market.”

Marcos Faraco, a vice president with Gerdau, says, “We are optimistic about the bright outlook for the domestic market. By resuming production, the company aims to continue meeting the growing demand for long steel in Brazil, and to optimize the supply of products to customers throughout the country alongside existing capacities.”

Brazil is the largest steel-producing nation in South America and is at times an importer of ferrous scrap from the U.S. and other nations.

According to U.S. Commerce Department data, the U.S. shipped just 40,000 metric tons of ferrous scrap to Brazil in 2020, less than went to either Peru (292,000 metric tons) or Ecuador (61,000 metric tons). However, in a presentation by Argus Media Editor Blake Hurtik at the ISRI2021 April online event, he indicated Brazil has imported 59,000 tons of ferrous scrap from the U.S. via bulk cargoes in just the first three months of 2021.