December steel consumption grows for fourth consecutive month

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Performance in the fourth quarter of last year exceeded expectations with record performance since the crisis of 2008/09

Alacero - São Paulo, Brasil, March de 2021. Steel consumption in December registered an increase of 10% over the previous month and 16% with the same month of 2019, reaching an accumulated 58.9 Million tons (Mt), and with the highest monthly indicator since March 2017. In a period of global contraction much higher than that recorded since the 2008/09 financial crisis, Latin America seeks to consolidate its recovery in the midst of a challenging economic scenario. Consumption in 2020, however, recorded a 9.6% drop compared to 2019, due to the contraction of industrial activity in the months of strict confinement.

The share of imports in last December's consumption (35%) was above the value recorded in the last 5 months (27-30%), influenced by strong demand. On the other hand, the share of imports in consumption for the year closed at 33%, below the 35-37% range of previous years.

Exports in December 2020 grew by 23.6% compared to the previous month, accumulating an annual reduction of -19.8%. Consequently, the December trade balance recorded the largest deficit of the year, mainly due to an increase in imports into Mexico, however, the full year recorded a decrease of -10.7%.

In January 2021, crude steel production maintained its growth trend and reached levels 8.7% higher than in January 2020, reaching 5.3 Mt. However, global overcapacity continues to be a risk for domestic consumption that has been growing. "Latin American countries must have the vision to safeguard a basic industry, a protagonist in the economic recovery and which employs more than 1.2 million workers," said Francisco Leal, CEO of Alacero. ••


About Alacero

Alacero – Latin American Steel Association (Asociación Latinoamericana del Acero) - is the non-profit civil entity that brings together the Latin American steel value chain to promote the values of regional integration, technological innovation, excellence in human resources, safety at work, corporate responsibility and socio-environmental sustainability. Founded in 1959, it is made up of more than 60 producing and related companies whose production is close to 60 million tons per year. The United Nations recognizes Alacero as a Special Consulting Agency.

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