Latin America’s steel industry returns to pre-pandemic steel production levels, according to the Latin American steel association Alacero. The region continues normalizing post-pandemic effects with rolled steel production up by 6pc to 13.5mn mt in March 2021 against the same year-ago month. The figure was even higher by 4.1pc compared to March 2019. Alacero expects for the industry to remain on a positive consumption trajectory in 2021.
Rolled steel rose by 11.5pc in March 2021 against the preceding months’ production led by Mexico’s growth. Rolled products’ consumption led by construction and manufacturing in the three main regional economies of Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina rose by 13.2pc in March 2021 against the same year-ago month as it rose by 2.7pc against March 2019.
Seamless tubes rose by 24.2pc to 96,700mt, followed by longs which climbed by 16.7pc to 2.45mn mt, and flats, which increased by 8.9pc to 2.16mn mt.
Imports, which are 35pc of the regions’ steel consumption, climbed by 13.3pc in February compared to the same month a year ago. Imports did decline by 7.4pc in February 2021 against the higher figures in January on improved domestic production.
Alacero noted that imports should be closely monitored to avoid injury to domestic producers. The association reiterated its concern with the problem of global steel production capacity led in Asia, specifically, China, but also growth in the Middle East.
Exports fell by 22.9 in February 2021 compared to the same month a year ago, but fell by 0.5pc against the preceding month of January.
Alacero highlighted the need for sustained economic reactivation in Latin America with a focus on start-up of plants and suspended projects along with stimulus investments with government support on health policies, political stability, and laws.