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Gerdau sees Brazil steel capacity double of local demand

Bloomberg quoted Mr Jorge Gerdau Johannpeter chairman of Gerdau SA as saying that Brazil's steel output capacity is twice as much as domestic demand. He added that the country must make an effort to increase steel exports in view of low domestic demand.

Mr Flavio Azevedo president of Brazil's Steel Institute Aco Brasil told reporters on December 2nd 2009 that crude steel production capacity in Brazil will rise by 3.6% in 2010 to 43.5 million tonnes, about double demand levels which are still recovering from the crisis. He added that in the medium term, new mill projects including those announced by Vale SA will boost capacity further, particularly for the export market.

He said that steel demand will climb 22% to 22.9 million tonnes from 18.8 million this year as orders grow from industrial segments including car making. He added that "There's going to be steel to spare. Brazil's going to continue with high export levels."

According to the institute’s forecast, steel exports from Brazil increased by 3.3% in 2009 and will grow an additional 16% to 11 million tonnes in 2010.

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