Alacero: Latin America’s trade deficit continues to impact steel industry

Wednesday, 05 June 2019 21:47:43 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

According to data released by the Latin American Steel Association (Alacero), Latin America’s crude steel production in April this year decreased by 5.6 percent year on year at 5.2 million mt. Brazil’s share in the region’s total crude steel production in the month in question was 54 percent.

The region’s production of finished steel in April was 4.2 million mt, down 11 percent year on year, while in the first four months the finished steel production decreased by nine percent to 16.7 million mt. In the January-April period, the main finished steel producers were Brazil, with 7.5 million mt (45 percent of the total) and Mexico with 5.9 million mt (35 percent of the total).

In March 2019, Latin America imported 2.1 million mt of finished steel, up nine percent as compared to the same month of the previous year, while finished steel exports from the region decreased by 24 percent year on year to 716,000 mt. As a result, the region recorded a trade deficit of 1.39 million mt of finished steel in the given month.

Alacero stated that the climate for doing business in Latin America worsened between January and April, due to turbulence in the Brazilian economy, the largest in the region, according to the quarterly report of the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV) of Brazil and the Institute of Economic Research (IFO) from Germany. Besides Brazil, another country that contributed to the worsening of the index was Mexico, while Colombia and Peru were the only countries that showed an improvement in the period. The Argentina trade balance showed a positive balance, although it should continue to be closely monitored. Most central banks have kept rates steady at recent meetings, reflecting contained inflation and reduced pressure for the normalization of the global monetary policy.

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