The Latin American Steel Association (Alacero – formerly ILAFA) reports that a meeting of its Executive Committee chaired by Mr Raul Gutierrez Muguerza discussed the prospects of the steel industry in the light of the report recently published by World Steel Association in its 2012 and 2013 outlook for world steel consumption.

Mr Muguerza commenting on the analysis of the figures, said “Steel consumption in Latin America is expected to increase by 6.3% this year and 6.0% next year, driven by high levels of activity in the steel using sectors that are related to raw materials and infrastructure investment plans and construction in most countries”. He added that “However, we must be cautious with the external environment given the risks of a deepening debt crisis in Europe and/or a greater slowdown in China which could impact negatively affecting the region’s growth”.

The meeting also presented the latest advances in the study on the importance of the metal working chain in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Colombia, which addresses the impacts of steel indirect trade with China, primarily in employment, and within the economies of the region. “The results of this study will be presented, once they are finished, to the national authorities by the steel organizations of each country”, said Mr Muguerza.

During the Assembly it was announced the upcoming conference and the annual exhibition of Latin American Steel Association, which will be held on October at the Sheraton San Cristobal in Santiago, Chile, from 28 to 30 October, under its new image as Alacero. The congress expects the participation of Fynn Kydland, 2004 Nobel Prize for economics, for his contributions to dynamic macroeconomics, who will speak about the global economic outlook and the risks that face the Latin American region. There will also be panels of experts to discuss topics of key importance as the situation of the steel raw materials market, the dynamics of regional steel markets and the process of deindustrialisation in which revenue from raw materials pushes up the value of the currency to such an extent that manufacturing industry becomes uncompetitive (See Steel Times International Vol 36 No 1 p10).