By Paul Ploumis
SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): The most recent trade data published by the Latin American Steel Association (ALACERO) states that steel imports by the region from China totaled 3.8 million tonnes (Mt) during the initial half of the current year. The steel imports volumes by the region from China totaled $2,334 million. The average price of import surged higher by 35% from $453 per ton in Jan-June ’16 to $612 per ton during the initial six-month period in 2017.
Latin America accounted for 9.6% share of total Chinese exports. Imports of finished steel products totaled 3.4 Mt, whereas steel-derivatives products accounted for 415,000 tons. The Latin American imports of Chinese steel surged higher by 13% during the first six-month period of 2017, in comparison with the corresponding period last year.
The primary importer of Chinese steel in the region during Jan-June ’17 was Central America with 782,000 tons. The imports were down by 11% over the year. The second largest regional importer of Chinese steel was Chile. The imports by Chile totaled 712,000 tons. In third place was Peru with 546,000 tons, followed by Brazil with 466,000 tons.
The Chinese steel exports to the world totaled 39.6 Mt during the first half of 2017. Out of this, finished steel exports totaled 36.4 Mt and the balance 3.2 Mt accounted for steel-derivatives products. The overall Chinese steel export volumes were down sharply by 29% when matched with the previous year. The Chinese steel exports had totaled 55.9 Mt during the initial six-month period in 2016.
Flat products constituted 67% of the total imports of finished steel and steel-derivative products from China. The Latin American imports of flat products totaled 2.6 Mt during the first six months of the current year. The largest importer of flat steel from China was Chile. The imports by Chile totaled 582,000 tons. Central America (466,000 tons) and Brazil (393,000 tons) were the other key importers of flat steel products from China. The product that recorded highest import volume during the six-month period was other alloyed steel sheets and coils, whose imports totaled 765,000 tonnes.
Long steel imports totaled 719,000 tons in Jan-June ’17. The main long steel product imported by the region from China was wire rods. The imports of wire rods totaled 369,000 tons, accounting for more than 50% of long steel imports. The imports of bars plunged by 63% year-on-year to total 278,000 tons. Central America was the largest importer of Chinese long steel in the region. The imports totaled 216,000 tons.
During the first six months of 2017, seamless pipe imports from China totaled 128,000 tons, accounting for 3% of total finished steel and steel-derivative products that entered the region during the five-month period.