Panel SA: Steel companies retreat in steel high after cut in import tariff, says construction

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Panel SA: Steel companies retreat in steel high after cut in import tariff, says construction

The reduction in the import tax on two types of steel rebars, announced by the government this Wednesday (11), has already made steel companies move not to lose market share, according to the CBIC (Brazilian Chamber of the Construction Industry).

The entity says that companies in the sector were sought out by some steelmakers, which gave up on previous proposals to raise prices.

“We already have information on visits from steelmakers removing the new price list”, says José Carlos Martins, president of the entity.

Tensions between the construction industry and steelmakers rose this week when the government announced it would cut import tariffs.

The Instituto Aço Brasil, which represents companies such as Gerdau and Usiminas, even accused the construction companies of bringing wrong information to Minister Paulo Guedes to convince the government that Brazilian steel is too expensive.

The steelmakers wanted steel rebar to be removed from the list of items that would have the tariff cut, but the government ended up reducing the product tax from 10.8% to 4%. The CBIC celebrated the measure.

As Panel SA anticipated, the construction industry had been moving to seek more steel on the international market, as it did last year, in order to circumvent prices.

Joana Wedge with Andressa Motter and Paulo Ricardo Martins

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