Alacero (the Latin American Steel Association) claims that figures released by the Chinese Customs Authority (CCA) show that during H1 2015 Latin America received 4.4Mt of finished steel from China at a value of US$2.5 billion and an average price per ton of US$583.

According to Alacero, China shipped 47.5Mt of finished steel to the rest of the world, excluding Latin America, at a value of US$26.7 billion and a price per ton of US$562.

Alacero claims that the volume of finished steel arriving in Latin America during H1 2015 increased 10% when compared with the same period in 2014 and that the average price per ton was 4% higher than the rest of the world.

That said, there are many Latin American destinations that faced import prices ‘significantly lower’ than the rest of the world, says Alacero. In Central America the average price per ton was US$465 (17% lower than the rest of the world). In Peru the figure was US$504 (10% lower); and in the Dominican Republic it was US$474 (16%). Columbia was 7% lower at US$523.

Since the beginning of 2014 until the present day, shipments of finished steel from China to Latin America have experienced continuous growth above the world average, but export prices have decreased. During Q2 2015, for example, the average export price from China to Latin America was US$537 per ton, down 21% on the same period of 2014. Venezuela, Argentina, Columbia and Peru witnessed the deepest price cuts – down 62%, 28%,26% and 24% respectively.

It is claimed that flat products accounted for almost 60% of finished steel exports from China to Latin America during H1 2015 (2.6Mt). These products, claimed Alacero, arrived at an average price 5% lower than the rest-of-the-world average.

Since H1 2014, flat products prices from China decreased 9% while the rest-of-the-world figure dropped 22%.

Latin America’s big importers of Chinese flat steel were Brazil and Chile, who received 532Mt and 473Mt respectively at prices 7% and 9% below the rest-of-the-world. When compared with H1 2014 the average price of these imports fell 13% and 10% respectively.

Dominican Republic, Peru and Columbia reported the lowest import prices while Argentina and Venezuela received flat products from China at a price ‘significantly higher’ than the rest-of-the-world (although volume was insignificant).

Comparing flat products exports from China to Latin America with the rest of the world between Q! 2013 and Q2 2015, Latin America witnessed an increase of 128% while the rest of the world figure was 87%.

Long products and seamless tubes accounted for 37.7% of finished steel shipments during H1 2015 at an average price of US$ 502/ton (16% higher than the rest of the world).

In total during H1 2015, Latin America received 1.6Mt of long products of which 713kt was rebar and 605kt rod wire and growing respectively by 90% and 1% compared to H1 2014.

Seamless pipe accounted for 4.5% of shipments from China to Latin America with prices of US$1,062 per ton 6% below the rest of the world and imported volume down 28% at 200kt.

Source: Alacero