Brazil's Gerdau CEO Sees U.S. Steel Demand Stronger in 2014-15
By Paul Kiernan
BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil--Brazil'sGerdau SA (GGB, GGBR3.BR, GGBR4.BR), the third-largest steel producer in the
Americas, sees demand for its products in the U.S. picking up next year and in 2015 as the economy gains traction, Chief
Executive Andre Gerdau Johannpeter said Wednesday.
The U.S. is Gerdau's second-most important market.
"There are still some difficulties in the U.S. this year, because there are a lot of imports pressuring margins," Mr.
Johannpeter told reporters on the sidelines of a mining conference. He said the company isn't too worried about the
looming fight over the U.S. borrowing limit, as "we think the government will find a solution just like [previous] last
In Brazil, Mr. Johannpeter said Gerdau expects the apparent consumption of steel to grow slightly faster next year
than the 3%-3.5% growth forecast for 2013. The Brazilian currency, which has been extremely volatile this year and has
depreciated against the dollar due to expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will start tightening its monetary
stimulus programs, still isn't favorable to local steelmakers.
"The dollar has helped but it is not enough for the sector to be more competitive," Mr. Johannpeter said. "We'd need
the dollar around BRL2.30 or BRL2.40 to start looking at exporting."
Brazil's real opened Wednesday around BRL2.2050 to the dollar.
Write to Paul Kiernan at firstname.lastname@example.org
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