Comparing January to October 2016 with the same period last year (2015), the Latin American Steel Association (Alacero) claims that Chinese steel exports to the world – including long steel, flat steel and seamless pipes – increased by 1%. The figure also includes steel derivatives, such as wire products and welded tubes.

Of an overall figure of 90.7Mt, 84.7Mt was finished steel and 6Mt steel derivatives.

According to Alacero, Latin America accounted for 6.9% of China's global exports and this figure is down 1.9 percentage points when compared with the same period last year (January to October 2015).

In fact, Latin America is in third place as China's preferred export destination, beaten only by South Korea (12.1Mt) and Vietnam (10Mt).

Alacero claims that while steel imports from China to Latin America have declined, they still make up 13% of the region's steel demand. News that China has reduced its installed capacity by 45Mt has not created major change in the market.

Out of the 6.3Mt of steel shipped by China to Latin America 5.6Mt were finished steel and 657kt steel derivatives compared to 7.9Mt finished steel and 865kt steel derivatives registered for the same period last year.

From January to October this year, Latin America was the main global destination for steel derivatives products from China (675kt or 11% of the total), according to Alacero. The Philippines accounted for 320kt and the USA 316kt.

In October 2016, Latin America received 570kt of steel from China of which 510kt were finished steel and 60kt steel-derivatives products – 22% lower than September 2016 when the figure was 727kt of which 675kt was finished steel and 51kt. It was also 28% less than in October 2015.

The main destinations for Chinese finished steel and steel derivatives exports within the Latin America region during the January to October 2016 period were Central America (1.6Mt); Chile (1Mt); and Peru (850kt).

Central America increased its finished steel and steel derivatives imports from China by 13%; Peru by 4%; and Costa Rica by 130%.

Conversely, some Latin American countries have reduced imports of Chinese steel products when comparing 2016 and 2015 figures for the January to October period. Venezuela and Mexico were down 54%; Argentina 47%, Brazil and Ecuador 36% – with respective shares of 3%, 7%, 1%, 11% and 5%.

According to Alacero, 49% of finished and steel derivative products imported by Latin America between January and October 2016 were flat products (3.1Mt).