Latin American (LatAm) steel production has returned to pre-pandemic levels, standing at 4.68mn mt in September, down by a mere 0.2pc over the same month in 2019. The Latin American Steel Association, Alacero, attributed it to a strong consumption recovery in all sectors, chiefly in the construction and automotive industries in Argentina and Mexico.
The agency indicated that crude steel production from blast furnaces fell by 7.1pc to 2.4mn mt in September over August, while electric-arc furnaces offset this decline, rasing output by 2.9pc to 2.27mn mt in the same period.
LatAm rolled steel output fell by 6.5pc in September on an annual basis but rose by 4.6pc over August, Alacero said without disclosing volume. Higher demand from Brazil, Mexico, and Peru was witnessed in September. Flat and longs output rose by 6.7pc and 2.8pc in September compared to August. Seamless pipe volumes also rose by 7.3pc in the same period.
Steel consumption increased by 5.3pc in August compared to July, on higher demand from México, Chile, and Argentina. The LatAm steel industry is working at 60pc of its installed capacity but needs to reach 80pc-85pc for better operating and financial efficiency, Alacero pointed out.