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Brazil's Gerdau says N. American volumes still strong - 15 November 2011

Brazilian steel giant Gerdau continues to perform strongly in North America with orders from the automotive and energy sectors offsetting soft demand from the construction industry, <b>Steel Business Briefing</b> learns from president and ceo André Gerdau Johannpeter.

During an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the annual conference of the Latin American Steel Association (Alacero) in Rio de Janeiro, Johannpeter says the steelmaker continues to see "good volumes" in the US and Canada, while conceding some segments are doing better than others.

"Our Q3 results showed we made a good recovery in North America from last year and we continue to see some good volumes," the head of the Porto Alegre-based longs maker tells SBB. "It all depends on the segments; the automotive, energy and industrial sectors are strong, but the construction and infrastructure segments are still below peak levels."

Johannpeter adds the company's regional investment drive is progressing as planned, including substantial spending on its SBQ bar units in Monroe, Michigan.

SBB notes that Gerdau's NA sales in Q3 were R2.68bn (US$1.5bn), up 15% from Q3 2010. Meanwhile, its NA shipments were 1.6m tonnes, up 8% from the year-ago quarter. Crude steel production in NA totaled 1.7m t in the quarter, up 18% year-on-year and down 4% quarter-on-quarter.

Gerdau's NA figures include all operations on the continent with the exception of Mexico and specialty steel concerns.


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