By Paul Ploumis
SPOKANE (Scrap Monster): The latest trade statistics released by the Latin American Steel Association (ALACERO) indicates that imports of Chinese steel by the region totaled 2.6 million tons (Mt) during the first four months in 2017.
As per data, China exported 26.4 million tons of finished steel and steel-derivative products to the entire world during the first four months of the current year. Out of this 2.6 million tons were shipped to Latin American countries. Imports of finished steel products totaled 2.3 million tons, whereas steel-derivatives products accounted for 278,000 tons. The total imports of Chinese steel by the region surged higher by 15% when matched with the first four months in 2016. The region had imported 2.2 million tons, including 2 million tons of finished products and 259,000 tons of steel-derivatives products in Jan-Apr 2016.
The key destination of Chinese steel in the region was Chile with 518,000 tons. The imports by Chile accounted for 20% of the total Chinese steel imports by the region. The second largest regional importer of Chinese steel was Central America. The imports by Central America totaled 508,000 tons, accounting for 19% of regional imports. In third place was Peru with 389,000 tons. The imports by the country accounted for 15% regional share.
During the first four months of 2017, several countries reported significant increase in imports of Chinese steel. The countries which recorded major jump in import volumes were Argentina (+67%), Dominican Republic (+60%), Brazil (+58%), Ecuador (+57%) and Chile (+43%). On the other hand, Cuba and Venezuela recorded 63% and 46% decline in imports of Chinese steel products respectively during the initial four months in 2017. Mexico too reported 20% decline in imports of Chinese steel.
The volume of Chinese steel imported by Latin American region surged higher by 15% during the first four months of 2017. On the other hand, the volume of Chinese steel to the rest of the world decreased significantly by 27%. The Chinese steel export volume totaled 26.4 million tons during Jan-Apr ‘17. Out of this, finished steel exports totaled 24.4 million tons and the balance 2.0 million tons accounted for steel-derivatives products. The steel exports by the country were down sharply by 27% when matched with the previous year. The Chinese steel exports had totaled 33.42 million tons during the initial four-month period in 2016.
In April 2017 alone, Latin America imported 661,000 tons of Chinese steel, including 573,000 tons of finished steel and 88,000 tons of steel-derived products. This is significantly higher by 41% when matched with a year before. The region had imported 469,000 tons of steel products including 403,000 tons of finished products and 66,000 tons of derived products. The imports during the month were almost similar to the imports registered during March 2017.
Flat products accounted for 65% of the total imports of finished steel and steel-derivative products from China. The Latin American imports of flat products totaled 1.7 million tons during the first four months of the current year. The major flat steel products imported during the period were other alloyed steel sheets and coils (555,000 tons) and hot dip galvanized sheet (370,000 tons). The flat steel product categories represented 33% and 22% share of flat steel imports from China respectively.
Long steel imports totaled 535,000 tons in Jan-Apr ’17. The key long steel product imported by the region from China was wire rods. The imports of wire rods totaled 255,000 tons, accounting for 48% of long steels. The imports of bars totaled 220,000 tons, representing 41% share of Chinese long steel imports.
During Jan-Apr ‘17, seamless tube imports from China totaled 85,000 tons, accounting for 3% of total finished steel and steel-derivative products that entered the region during the four-month period.