According to Alacero, the figures for the first 10 months of 2015 show a 3 percent decrease in the finished steel consumption of Latin America. Also, regional crude steel production fell 2 percent and rolled steel, 4 percent y-o-y. Already 35 percent of the regional consumption is being supplied by imports, while share of imports in local markets continues to advance. The trade balance of the region remains negative, although in the first 10 months of 2015 the deficit in tons decreased 3.6 percent versus the same period of 2014.
In Jan-Oct 2015, Latin America and the Caribbean produced 53.7 million tons of crude steel, 2 percent below the volume recorded in the same period of 2014. Brazil participated with 53 percent of the regional production (28.2 million tons), showing an annual contraction of 1.2 percent.
In the same period, Latin America produced 44.9 million tons of finished steel, 4 percent less than in the same period of 2014. Brazil was the main producer (19.3 million tons), accounting for 43 percent of the Latin American output. Mexico came second (14.7 million tons, and 33 percent share of regional output).
During the first 10 months of the year, finished steel consumption in the region reached 57.9 million tons, down 3 percent vs Jan-Oct 2014. Largest increases in consumption—in absolute and percentage terms—were recorded in Mexico (additional 1.6 million tons, an increase of 9 percent) and Chile (199,000 additional tons, up 9 percent). Argentina also presented a 3 percent increase in consumption of finished products, 115,000 tons more than during the first ten months of 2014.
Conversely, in Brazil rolled steel consumption shrank by 3.3 million tons, down 15 percent vs Jan-Oct 2014. While Colombia and Peru recorded declines of 4 percent and 15 percent, respectively.
In the first ten months of 2015, Latin America imported 20.3 million tons of finished steel, up 1 percent vs Jan-Oct 2014 imports (20.2 million tons). Currently, imports represent 35 percent of the regional finished steel consumption, which brings about disincentives to the local industry, trade frictions, and threatens jobs, according to Alacero.
Latin American exports of finished steel reached 7.5 million tons, increasing 8 percent y-o-y (6.9 million tons).
In the first ten months of 2015 the region recorded a trade deficit of 12.7 million tons of finished steel. This imbalance is 3.6 percent lower than the one observed in Jan-Oct 2014 (13.2 million tons).
Between January and October 2015, Brazil was the only country to maintain a trade surplus of finished steel, 1.4 million tons. The largest deficit was recorded in Mexico (-5.7 million tons), followed by Colombia (-1.9 million tons), Chile (-1.5 million tons) and Peru (-1.2 million tons).
Advance information for November 2015 indicates that crude steel production reached 5.0 million tons in this month, 7 percent less than October 2015 and 4 percent less than November 2014. The production of finished steel closed at 4.6 million tons, in line with October 2015 and November 2014.
In the first 11 months of 2015, crude steel production reached 58.7 million tons, a 2 percent y-o-y, while production of finished products reached 49.5 million tons, down 4 percent vs Jan-Nov 2014.