Latin American steel consumption rises in January-May

Thursday, 02 September 2021 10:46:49 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul
       

According to Alacero, the Latin American steel association, in the January-May period this year, Latin American steel consumption increased by 34.6 percent year on year and was up by 15.8 percent compared to the same period of 2019. This was possible amid the good performance of sectors in the steel value chain, such as construction and automotive production. In the given period, growth of steel consumption was 101.3 percent in Argentina, 65.2 percent in Peru, 50.7 percent in Brazil, 39.6 percent in Colombia, 25.8 percent in Chile and 14.5 percent in Mexico, all compared to the first five months of 2020.

Total exports of finished steel from Latin America in May increased by 0.2 percent to 589,600 mt compared to 588,600 mt in April. This growth in exports, together with the 1.3 percent decrease in total imports, had a moderate effect on the decline in the May trade deficit, which fell by 1.7 percent compared to April. Alacero stated that stabilizing the trade balance deficit remains a major challenge for production and for the level of employment in Latin America. In May, extra-regional imports accounted for 36 percent of steel consumption and the month witnessed a historic record with a 93 percent foreign market share of total imports.

In June this year, Latin American rolled steel output rose by 56.5 percent year on year and decreased by 2.8 percent compared to May, mainly due to the reduction in production in Brazil and Mexico. In addition, there was a regional decrease of 7.8 percent in flat steel production.

Latin American finished steel output in the second quarter this year was 62.1 percent higher than the same period in 2020 and 6.9 percent higher than the first quarter this year.

In the first half, Latin American crude steel production grew by 24.3 percent year on year and by 1.7 percent compared to the same period of 2019. According to the World Steel Association, Latin America was the region with the second highest growth in the world during the given period.

“The consolidation of increased steel consumption, even at pre-pandemic levels, is great news for the region. This means that the Latin American economy and the sectors that demand steel are in a continuous recovery, which stimulates the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs in the value chain. Companies, governments and officials need to continue working to stabilize the trade deficit and to understand the direction of the steel world in terms of tariffs and environmental regulations,” Alejandro Wagner, CEO of Alacero, said.


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