Brazilian steelmaker Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (CSN) plans to maintain sales to the United States by exporting material from its operations in Brazil, following the sale of its facility in Terre Haute, Indiana, to Steel Dynamics (SDI).
Late on Monday, CSN announced the sale of its Indiana steel processing facility for $400 million, but said it would be retaining a presence in the North American market via a new subsidiary that will focus on import and distribution.
"It would be irresponsible of us to leave a market with such attractive margins," CSN commercial executive director Luis Fernando Martinez told Metal Bulletin.
Its sales team in the US will be maintained, and the company will focus in sales of galvanized steel, pre-painted steel, galvalume and tinplate.
"The US is a net importer of tinplate, and we have a large production capacity," Martinez said.
As the Brazilian market recovers, CSN's US subsidiary "could operate as a trading company," according to Martinez.
"Our plan is to continue using our quota, working in niche markets," Martinez said.
To avoid the 25% tariffs resulting from the US Section 232 investigation, Brazilian steelmakers have agreed to an export quote of 70% of average shipments in 2015-17 for finished steel, and 100% of the three-year average for semi-finished steel.