RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Shares in Brazilian steelmakers jumped on Wednesday following a report in the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper that the government was studying measures to protect the steel industry by raising import tariffs.
Preferred shares in struggling steelmaker Usinas Siderúrgicas de Minas Gerais SA rose 13 percent in early trade, while Gerdau SA and Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional SA were up 8 percent and 11.2 percent respectively.
Import tariffs on some steel products could rise to between 15 percent and 20 percent, from between 8 percent and 14 percent, Folha reported, adding that no decision on whether to implement the changes has yet been taken.
"Still unconfirmed, but welcome," analysts at BTG Pactual said in a note to clients, but warned that in their view "there is no consensus on the willingness of the government to approve a higher tariff."
Reporting by Stephen Eisenhammer