Between January and September 2014 Chinese steelmakers exported 6Mt of finished steel to Latin America, prompting the Latin American Steel Association (ALACERO) to call for government action to stem the flow.
The amount of Chinese steel imports into Latin America was up by 54% over the same period last year whereas the amount of finished steel exported to the rest of the world during the same time frame was up by 44% .
In terms of its share of Chinese exported steel, the Latin America region accounted for 10.3% and was surpassed only by South Korea (14%).
Latin America received 611kt of Chinese finished steel in September 2014, up 46% on September 2013 but down 15% on the August 2014 figure of 715kt.
According to Alacero, the main Latin American destinations for Chinese finished steel were Brazil (1.5Mt); Chile (946kt) and Central America (836kt) – a share of 25%, 16% and 14% respectively.
Over the nine-month period (January to September 2014) the most important percentage growths of finished steel imports from China when compared to the same period last year were registered in Argentina (+ 136%); Mexico (+136%); Paraguay (+123%); and Columbia (+103%).
Chinese finished steel imports into Mexico ‘continue to show a constant increase’ claims Alacero, receiving 521kt between January and September 2014 and accounting for a 9% share of regional Chinese imports.
Looking at Chinese imports by product, flat steel accounted for 67% between January and September 2014 with ‘other alloy steel coils and sheets top of the pile (1.5mt); hot galvanised steel (834kt) and cold-rolled coils (788kt).
Long steel imports reached 1.6Mt and consisted of rod wire (870kt) and bars (572kt).
There are currently 11 complaints and requests against Chinese unfair trade practices in Latin America, which represent 35% of the ongoing actions in the region. Actions taken by the governments of Brazil, Columbia and Mexico represent 25% of all regional measures.
“The problem is serious and growing,” claims Alacero. “It affects the productive and financial viability of the Latin American companies.”
Alacero recently called for immediate action by regional governments ‘to ensure regional competitiveness against a Chinese industry that bases its production and trade on SOEs and government subsidies’.