Steel production in Latin America falls 12% in December 2019

by Hans Diederichs

In a market weakened by the loss of competitiveness and consumption, derived from  the  high  cost  of  the  domestic  market  and  unfair  competition,  Latin  America  saw  its  production  of  crude  steel  in  December fall by 12% compared to the same month of 2018, summarizing 4,499 million tons (Mt.). The annual balance in Latin America was negative, with a result of 9% lower than that observed in 2018 (5,704 Mt). Brazil was primarily responsible for this figure (56%), followed by Mexico (30%), which registered its worst indicator in almost 4 years. Argentina also contributed (9%).

This result contrasts with those of China that experienced an increase of 8% in its crude steel production in 2019 compared to 2018. In 2019, Chinese imports accounted for 25% of the total imported by Latin America, converting our region in the second recipient of its exports of rolled products. It should be noted that in Latin America the anti-dumping actions grew in the last quarter from 66 to 74, 50 of them against China. With the Chinese effect, the production of rolled steel, which directly impacts consumption, reached its lowest level in 3 years (3,598 Mt) in December with a total of 11% lower than December 2018, the fourth consecutive monthly decline.  At the same time, the outlook is uncertain from the coronavirus epidemic that could affect world trade, as the World Trade Organization (WTO) warned. Latin America faces a process of economic contraction that weighs on the development of the industry and influences its productivity.

Source: Alacero                         Photo: Fotolia

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