Latin America imported 1.8Mt of steel from China during the first quarter of 2016, down 33% on the same period in 2015, according to Alacero (the Latin American Steel Association).

Of the 1.8Mt of imported Chinese steel, 1.6Mt was finished steel and 193kt was steel-derivatives products.

Over the same period, China shipped 25.4Mt of steel to 'rest of world' countries (ex-Latin America) and of that sum, 24.1Mt was finished steel and the remainder steel-derivatives products.

In terms of value, a price tag of US$778 million was attached to steel coming from China to Latin America, which is equivalent to a price per tonne of US$436 – 6% higher than for the rest of the world, claims Alacero.

Chinese steel shipped to the rest of the world, it is claimed was valued at US$10.4 billion, equivalent to US$411/tonne.

There are, however, several regions of the world where the value of imports from China is below the 'rest of world' average. In Central America, for example, the average price per tonne is US341, which is 17% below; in Columbia and Ecuador it is US$373, 9% lower; and in the Dominican Republic it is US$380 – or 7% below the rest of the world average.

Between the beginning of 2014 and Q1 2016, Chinese exports to Latin America dipped 37%, while the volume exported by China to the rest of the world fell 46%. The average price of Chinese exports to Latin America during Q1 2016 was down 32% at US$436/tonne. The sharpest falls were in Ecuador (down 40%); Columbia (down 37%); Central America (down33%); and Chile (down32%). The values per tonne were: US$374, US$373, US$341; and US$415 respectively.

Source: Alacero.