Yellow metal shipments rise in 2016 as a result of higher prices and volumes, with silver flat, while zinc and lead exports drop.
Brazil releases January data, which shows overall revenue from exports to Mercosur nations grew.
But Capital Economics is sceptical that current prices are sustainable.
China has pledged to slash capacity, but according to a study conducted by Greenpeace and a local steel consultancy, the country has also been bringing plenty of idle and new capacity online.
US President Donald Trump's protectionist policies, including plans to amend or scrap the Nafta trade deal and impose tariffs on imports, threaten to snuff out a fragile recovery in Mexico's steel sector.
China was the main destination for output from Minas Gerais and Pará, official data shows.