20/04/2012 - Alacero
Latin American steel market January to March 2012
The apparent steel use in Latin America reached a volume of 10,7 million tons during January-February 2012, 13% more than in the same period of 2011.
The Latin American crude steel production reached a volume of 16.4 million tons during the three first months of 2012, 1% less than in the first quarter of 2011.
In March 2012, the volume produced reached 5.8 million tons, 2% less than in March 2011, due to a 7% decline of Mexico, with a volume of 1.5 million tons.
During the first quarter of 2012, the production increased in Argentina, Brazil and Peru, while Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Venezuela showed declines ranging between 3% in the case of Chile up to 41% in Venezuela.
Regarding finished steel trade, during January-February 2012, there was a regional deficit of 2.2 million tons, significantly higher than the 0.9 million tons imbalance of the same period in 2011.
In January-February, all countries of the region experienced a trade deficit. During that period, Mexico explained 36% of the total deficit of Latin America, with a volume of 769.216 tons, followed by Colombia, which piled up a negative balance of 322.061 tons.
The significant deficit of Mexico is partly explained by the elimination of customs duties on steel products, a measure that came into force by the beginning of 2012.
The apparent steel use in Latin America reached a volume of 10.7 million tons in January-February 2012, against a finished steel production1 considerably lower, of 8.9 million tons.
The regional consumption grew 13%, in January-February 2012, compared to the same period of 2011, driven mainly by Peru (+21%), Mexico (+19%) and Brazil (+15%). Argentina and Paraguay saw a fall in demand of -11% and -3% respectively.
The finished steel production reached a volume of 14.1 million tons in the first quarter of 2012. In March 2012, finished steel production increased to 5.1 million tons, 3% more than in the same month of 2011.
During the first quarter of 2012 the finished steel production dropped in Argentina, Paraguay, Trinidad & Tobago and Venezuela. The other countries of the region saw their production levels grow in March and in the first quarter 2012, albeit with minor proportions of growth than the demand, which is increasingly supplied by imports.
*For comparison purposes the countries for which the consumption was calculated are included.