Apparent steel use in Latin America and the Caribbean reached totalled 64.6Mt during 2012, 3% up on 2011.

Growth of regional consumption was mainly driven by Chile (+22%) and Peru (+18%). Production of finished steel in the region for the year reached 56.4Mt an increase of 2% on 2011. In December 2012, the region’s finished steel use was 4.7Mt, 4% less than in same month 2011.

Of finished steel produced, Brazil was the largest producer representing 47% (26.2Mt ) of the total, followed by Mexico at 15.9Mt (28%).

In January 2013, finished steel production reached 4.4Mt – 2% more than the same month 2012. Brazil and Mexico continued to be the most important finished steel producers with 2Mt and 1.3Mt , respectively.

Crude steel production was 66Mt during 2012, 2% less than the cumulated volume of 2011. The two main producers, Brazil and Mexico, accounted for 34.7 and 18.1Mt respectively.

In January 2013 crude steel production was 4.8Mt, 10% lower than in the same month 2012. Brazil produced 2.8Mt, the highest amount in Latin America, followed by Mexico (1Mt ). Crude steel production in Argentina fell 19% compared to January 2012.

Trade balance

The trade deficit of finished steel products reached 11.6Mt during 2012, while the imbalance in 2011 had been -8.7Mt .

In 2012, all Latin American and Caribbean countries – except Argentina and the Dominican Republic – showed a finished steel trade deficit. Mexico presented the most significant deficit of 4.1Mt, while Colombia (-1.8Mt ), Chile (-1.5Mt ) and Peru (-1.4Mt ), all exhibited deficits.

Source Alacero www.