China exported 4Mt of finished steel to Latin America during the first half of 2014, according to Alacero, the Latin American Steel Assocation.

Latin America was the second biggest customer of Chinese finished steel manufacturers next to South Korea.

The 2014 figure of 4Mt was 65% higher than in 2013 when the figure was just 2.4Mt.

World Chinese finished steel exports reached 36.9Mt during the period, which was 39% higher year-on-year than in 2013.

Latin America accounts for 5% of global finished steel consumption and 11% of Chinese finished steel exports (9% in 2013).

While South Korea is the main destination for Chinese finished steel products, the gap between it and Latin America is decreasing. During the first half of 2013, South Korea accounted for 18% of Chinese finished steel exports. In 2014 the figure dipped to 17%.

In June Latin America imported 687kt of Chinese finished steel, 25% less than in May (855kt) but 4% more than June 2013 (569kt).

Brazil received the lion's share of Chinese finished steel between January and June 2014 (1.1Mt) followed by Chile (615kt) and Central America (506kt).

Paraguay increased its Chinese finished steel imports by 242% followed by Mexico (+155%), Columbia (+121%), Argentina (+120%) and Brazil (+84%).

According to Alacero, "It is worth noticing that even when Central America represents 5% of the Latin American total consumption, these countries received 13% of Chinese finished is possible that Central America is being used for trade triangulation to other countries of the region. Thus, China's presence could be higher than that registered."

During the first half of 2014, Latin America imported 2.7Mt of Chinese flat steel, which accounted for 67% of all Chinese finished steel imported. It imported 978kt of alloyed steel sheets and coils (37%), 558kt of cold-rolled coil (21%) and 552kt of hot galvanised steel (21%).

Where Chinese long products were concerned, Latin America imported 1Mt of wire rod (597kt) and bars (375kt).

Source: Alacero.