Finished steel consumption in Latin America and the Caribbean was down 2% for the period January to October 2015 when compared with the same period in 2014.

The region produced 53.7Mt of crude steel and Brazil accounted for 53% of regional production (28.2Mt and an annual contraction of 1.2%).

Over the same period the region produced 44.9Mt of finished steel, down 4% on the previous year’s figures and with Brazil as the main producer (accounting for 19.3Mt – 43% of output).

Mexico was the second biggest producer and accounted for 33% of regional output with its 14.7Mt of production.

In terms of finished steel production for the region the figure reached 57.9Mt over the January to October period – down 3%. Mexico recorded the largest increase in consumption, up 9% or 1.6Mt. Chilean consumption was also up 9% and Argentina’s was up 3% having produced 115kt more steel when compared to the same period in 2014.

Rolled steel consumption in Brazil was down 3.3Mt and there were declines of 4% and 15% respectively in Columbia and Peru.

Where imports are concerned, Latin America imported 20.3Mt of finished steel, a rise of 1% over the January to October 2014 period. Imports account for 35% of regional finished steel consumption and this, claims the Alacero, the Latin American Steel Association, ‘brings about disincentives to the local industry, trade frictions, and threatens jobs’.

Latin America exported 7.5Mt of finished steel, an increase of 8% year-on-year, and recorded a trade deficit for the period of 12.7Mt (finished steel) and this represented a trade imbalance 3.6% lower than during the same period in 2014 when the figure was 13.2Mt.

A trade surplus was maintained by Brazil alone (1.4Mt) while the largest deficit was recorded by Mexico (down 5.7Mt). Columbia followed (- 1.9Mt), Chile (- 1.5Mt) and Peru (- 1.2Mt).

Figures for November 2015 show that crude steel production reached 5Mt, down 7% on October 2015 and 4% less than November 2014. Finished steel production closed at 4.6Mt, in line with October 2015 and November 2014, claims Alacero.

Over the first 11 months of 2015, crude steel production in the region totalled 58.7Mt. Production of finished steel reached 49.5Mt.

Source: Alacero.