China shipped 5.7Mt of finished steel to Latin America between January and August 2015, up 5% on the 5.4Mt shipped during the same period last year.

Over the same period, regional finished steel production went down 3% when compared with 2014.

According to Alacero (the Latin American Steel Association) total exports of Chinese finished steel continue to grow, totalling 65.4Mt over the first eight months of 2015, up 28% on the previous year. Latin America accounted for 8.7% of China’s exports, 1.9 percentage points below January to August 2014 figures.

South Korea is the main destination for Chinese steel exports, according to Alacero. It received 8.5Mt (13% of the total) over the period under scrutiny. In second place was Vietnam (6.2Mt and 9.5% of the total). In fact, south east Asia – made up of Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Burma, Brunei, Cambodia, Fiji and North Korea – received 17.5Mt of Chinese steel, accounting for 27% of the total.

Latin America received 712kt of Chinese finished steel in August, up 21% on July’s figure of 590kt and roughly the same as August 2014 (715kt).

The main Latin American destinations for Chinese finished steel were Central America (961kt and representing 17% of the region’s total) followed by Brazil (928kt, 16%); and Chile (793kt, 14%).

Over the eight-month period, the Latin American nations that most increased imports of Chinese finished steel were Argentina (up 373%); Dominican Republic (up 173%); Cuba (up 97%); and Mexico (up 60%).

Exports of Chinese finished steel products to Brazil, however, decreased by 32% while in Peru they were down 17%. In Columbia and Chile they decreased by 12% and 3% respectively. These countries represented 16%, 9%, 8% and 14% respectively of imports from China.

Moving on to the type of products imported by Latin America, flat products accounted for 2.9Mt of which sheets, coil and other alloys totalled 1.1Mt, hot galvanised 649kt and cold coils 461kt.

Long steel exports from China totalled 1.8Mt of which bars accounted for 793kt and rod wire 741kt.