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Brazil infrastructure push to boost steel demand -Gerdau CEO

SAO PAULO, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Demand for steel products in Brazil will rise next year thanks to a series of infrastructure projects, including the sale of rights to operate airports, roads and railways, André Gerdau-Johannpeter, chief executive officer of Gerdau SA, the nation's largest steelmaker, said on Thursday.

The company is optimistic about the outlook for the steel industry in North America for next year, Gerdau-Johannpeter told reporters at a conference call to discuss third-quarter earnings.

Gerdau, the largest steelmaker in the Americas, beat third-quarter profit estimates after rising sales volumes and cost controls in Brazil offset the impact of declining margins in North America, Europe and India. Net income jumped to 642 million reais ($293 million) in the quarter, up 60 percent from the prior three months, beating expected average profit of 546.5 million reais in a Thomson Reuters poll of six analysts.