According to estimates by the Brazilian Iron and Steel Sector Association (IBS) Brazil's steel production this year should total 34 million tons, which should correspond to an increase of 9.9% compared with last year.
The sector, says IBS, had a year of record-highs in production, in domestic sales and apparent consumption, which is the sum of national production and imports, minus exports.
Domestic sales should grow 18% over last year, to reach 20.6 million tons, whereas apparent consumption should record a 19.7% increase, totaling 22.1 million tons. Exports this year should total 10.5 million, representing a 15.6% decrease in comparison with 2006.
Despite the reduction, total revenues from foreign sales should stand at US$ 6.8 billion, a 1.4% reduction compared with last year. Imports are forecasted to close the year at 1.6 million tons, a decrease of 12%.
The IBS perspectives for 2008 are positive. The institute estimates that production will total 37.6 million tons of raw steel, which will represent an increase of 10.8% over 2007.
With regard to exports, the sector estimates that they should reach 12.4 million tons, a 17.9% increase. According to information supplied by the IBS, this growth will be possible due to the increase in industrial production capacity. This year, the installed capacity in the Brazilian steel industry reached 41 million tons.
Brazilian leather exports totaled US$ 1.99 billion from January to November, representing a 18.3% increase over the same period of last year, according to data supplied by the Confederation of Brazilian Hides and Skins Industries (CICB).
According to the organizations's president, Luiz Bittencourt, leather is already one of the leading products in the Brazilian export basket, and should end the year with shipments of more than US$ 2 billion.
The Brazilian biscuit market should end the year with a production of 1.13 million tons, representing an increase of 1.7% over last year. The data confirm the position of Brazil as the world's second largest producer of biscuits, according to information supplied by the Association of Pasta Foodstuffs and Biscuits of the State of São Paulo (Simabesp).
The sector expects to end the year with revenues of 7.4 billion Brazilian reais (US$ 4.12 billion), against 6.88 billion reais (US$ 3.84 billion) in 2006.
According to José dos Santos dos Reis, the president of Simabesp, the growth is due to a greater diversification in terms of products, flavors and packaging shapes. The organization estimates that there are currently 400 biscuit industries in Brazil, the 20 largest of which represent 75% of the market.
According to the organization, annual per capita consumption in Brazil stood at approximately 6 kilograms (13 lbs) in the last five years. The volume is expected to reach 8 kilograms (18 lbs) within the next 10 years.
Production should also increase to 1.6 million tons. Presently, the United States comes first in the ranking of biscuit producer countries, at 1.5 million tons. The countries that follow Brazil in the ranking are: England, at 670,000 tons; Germany, at 590,000 tons and France, at 540,000 tons.
Revenues posted by the industry in the southern Brazilian state of Paraná grew 9.21% in October in comparison with September. From January until October, the growth rate was 11.22% compared with the same period of 2006.
The data were culled from the Conjuncture Indicators survey, by the Federation of Industries of the State of Paraná (Fiep).
The result confirms the forecast that 2007 will be the best year in terms of industrial performance since 2002. The agroindustry, driven by the good 2006/2007 crop, is the main responsible for the expansion of industrial activity in Paraná.
The sectors that had the best performances in the accumulated result from January to October were: clothing and accessories, machinery and equipment, and manufacturing and assembly of auto vehicles.
In the accumulated result for the year, employment grew 1.92% over the same period of 2006. The sectors that hired the most were those of textiles, metal products, and rubber and plastic items.
In October, the usage rate of the installed capacity increased by 1% in comparison with September, to stand at 81%.Â