Alacero 2021: CEOs optimistic about opportunities for Latin American steel industry

Thursday, 18 November 2021 21:58:24 (GMT+3)   |   Sao Paulo

The CEOs of two steel companies are confident about the future of the Latin American steel industry, despite existing structural challenges.

Gustavo Werneck, CEO of Gerdau, who will also assume the president of Alacero in 2022 and 2023, said new markets and new demand will arise in the Latin American steel market.

“We need to be ready to attend our customers,” he said, as crude steel output in Latin America should reach 65 million mt in 2021, 16 percent up, year-over-year.

Máximo Vedoya, CEO at Ternium and president of Alacero through 2021, said he is also optimistic about the Mexican steel industry.

“I am optimistic about the Mexican steel industry, where the competitiveness is important for us. We need to keep continue improving our competitiveness in terms of logistics and energy,” he told reporters during a press conference.

In his closing remarks during Alacero 2021, Werneck addressed the challenges the Latin American steel industry still faces.

“High tax burdens, low financing (resources) available locally, and logistics issues prevent the Latin American steel industry to compete equally with other producers,” Werneck said.

On the other hand, the local steel industry is well positioned to take a key role in transforming the local economies.

“We’re living a time of transformation and recovery of global economies,” Werneck said.

While citing the forecast of an improved crude steel output in 2021, when compared to 2020, Werneck said those numbers reinforce the importance of steel as an “essential product during the recovery of local economies.”

“I believe the Latin American steel industry will give important steps next in the next few years to decarbonize the sector,” he said.

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