Latin American imports of Chinese steel down 50 percent in January

Friday, 16 March 2018 18:31:01 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

According to a report from Latin American steel association Alacero, Latin America accounted for nine percent of China’s total global steel exports in January this year, down two percentage points compared to January 2017, ranking second among China’s steel export destinations.

In January, Latin America received 412,000 mt of Chinese steel products, which 362,000 mt were finished steel and 50,000 mt were steel-derivative products. This volume is 50 percent lower than the 822,000 mt recorded in January 2017. The main destinations for Chinese steel (finished and steel-derivatives) in Latin American during January were: Brazil, which received 111,000 mt (27 percent of the region's total imports of Chinese steel); Peru, with 64,000 mt (17 percent of the total); and Chile, 59,000 mt (14 percent).

During January, Brazil was the only country that increased its imports of Chinese steel, increasing its bookings by 43 percent, while the countries that have reduced their imports of Chinese steel products were Venezuela (98 percent), Cuba (96 percent), Argentina (80 percent) and Central America (73 percent).

In January, hot dipped galvanized coils (79,000 mt), other alloyed steel sheets and coils (70,000 mt) and cold rolled coil (61,000 mt) were the most significant exports from China to the region.

Long product exports from China to Latin America reached 47,000 mt in January, 26 percent of total steel (finished and derivate) received from China, including 23,000 mt of wire rods and 19,000 mt bars.

According to Alacero, although China announced that it will cut steel production in 2018, there is a possibility that it will start exporting more steel to Latin America following the announcement of Donald Trump regarding the imposition of 25 percent tariffs on steel imports. Alacero estimated that this decision may cause a diversion of trade to the region and the governments of each country should be alert to a sudden and unexpected growth of imports.

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