The Latin American Steel Association (Alacero), says that during the first half of 2012, China exported a total of 23.1Mt of finished steel products to the world, which is 12% more than in the same period of 2011.

In Latin America, this increase was even larger reaching 28% over the same period 2011. Between January and June 2012, crude steel consumption in China grew only 0.7% to 328.61Mt. In the same period, production grew by 1.8%, reaching 351.55Mt. This raised the surplus of crude steel production in the first six months of 2012 to 22.94Mt.

At this same time, China is facing a larger than predicted slowdown and also the Eurozone is still is trying to resolve its sovereign debt crisis. In this context of a lower demand on national and international level, it seems likely that Chinese steel exports to other regions – particularly Latin America – may rise.

Throughout the first half 2012, Latin America imported a total of 10.1Mt of finished steel from the world and Chinese exports to the region amounted to 2Mt. This means that 20% of the Latin American imports came from China.

In this period, Brazil produced 489896Mt, Peru 328543Mt and Chile 4,945t, these countries remaining the principal destinations for Chinese exports to Latin America.