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Brazil: local market facing uncertainties

Imports of finished steel continue to highlight the low consumption of scrap by domestic mills, keeping prices down and with no prospect of improvement. Even though a rising exchange rate is helping exports of scrap to main buyer India, it is not reflected in a decrease in imports. The Instituto Aço Brasil (IABR) is preparing for a counter-offensive along with the Brazilian government, looking to add protection and barriers to imports of finished steel through surcharges and increases in import taxes.

In terms of recovered paper, market demand is low owing to the increased consumption of reforestation cellulose and a large supply of product on a market which is being flooded with cardboard.

Among the non-ferrous metals, there has been a decline in some companies’ purchases of copper, leaving the market without a consumer at previous levels and reflected in an increase in supply without firm buyers.

Waste Expo Brasil took place at the beginning of October. With the three-day event recording an increase in the numbers of participants and stands taken, it is clear that the market - despite current low levels - is quite optimistic in terms of investments and equipment purchases.

INESFA has been striving to keep the sector strong and regulated, with free trade between countries and a focus on reducing the tax burden as much as possible. Taxes have a major impact on costs for co-operatives and collectors throughout Brazil and, consequently, on recycling businesses and the sector as a whole.