April 28, 2017 01:30:47 PM
SPOKANE (Scrap Monster): The latest statistics released by the Latin American Iron and Steel Institute (ALACERO) indicates that steel consumption by the region remained stable during the two-month period from January to February this year, mostly in line with the trend that had emerged towards end of 2016. The region’s crude and finished steel output too increased during the mentioned period.
The figures released by the trade body indicate that consumption of steel during Jan-Feb ’17 remained at more or less the same levels as in the first bimester of 2016. The region’s crude steel production surged higher by 10% during the two-month period. Meantime, finished steel consumption too was up by 2% over the previous year.
The crude steel production by Latin America and the Caribbean totaled 10.2 million tonnes in Jan-Feb ‘17, which is significantly higher by 10% when matched with the production volume of 9.3 million tonnes in the corresponding two months in 2016. The largest crude steel producer of the region was Brazil. The country’s production totaled 5.4 million tonnes, accounting for 53% of regional production. The country reported 10% jump in crude steel production during the period.
Brazil remained the key producer of finished steel in Jan ’17. The country produced 3.5 million tonnes out of the 8.3 million tonnes of finished steel produced by the region. It accounted for 42% of the regional finished steel output. In second place was Mexico with 3.1 million mt, constituting 37% of regional output.
As per data, the apparent finished steel usage by the region totaled 9.90 million mt during the first two months of the current year, more or less at the same levels when matched with the corresponding period a year before. Out of this, consumption of flat products totaled 5.6 million mt, accounting for 57% of total finished steel consumption. The long products and seamless tubes usage totaled 4.3 million mt and 152,000 mt respectively. The countries to record significant rise in finished steel usage were Mexico (up 200,000 mt, +5%), Brazil (up 148,000 mt, +5%) and El Salvador (up 107,000 mt, +182%). On the other hand, several countries recorded decline in consumption. The largest decline in finished steel consumption was reported by Argentina (down 43,000 tons, -6%). The consumption by Bolivia, Guatemala and Ecuador declined by 83%, 47% and 42% respectively. The apparent usage in Peru and Chile has narrowed by 14% and 12% respectively over the year.
Imports accounted for 33% of Latin American steel consumption. The Latin American finished steel imports totaled 3.3 million tonnes. Out of this, 2.3 million mt were flat products, 937,000 mt were long products and the remaining 106,000 mt were seamless tubes. The exports of finished steel by Latin America surged higher by 4% over the previous year to 1.40 million tonnes. Of this, 694,000 mt were flat products, 557,000 mt were long products and 168,000 mt were seamless tubes.
According to ALACERO data, finished steel trade by the region reported net deficit of 1.9 million mt during the first two months of 2017. The country to report largest trade deficit was Mexico. Mexico’s trade deficit totaled 866,000 mt, followed by Colombia (416,000 mt), Chile (237,000 mt) and Peru (234,000 mt).The only country in the region to report trade surplus was Brazil. The country registered 418,000 mt surplus during the month.
The advance information released by the steel trade body suggests considerable rise in Latin American crude steel production in March this year. The monthly output totaled around 5.4 million mt, rising sharply by 6% over the prior month. Also, production of finished steel totaled 4.4 million mt during the month, significantly higher by nearly 10% than February 2017.
Alacero is the organization that brings together the steel value chain of Latin America. Established in 1959, the organization comprises of 49 companies in 12 different countries, whose combined production represents nearly 95% of the steel manufactured in the region.