Latin America Returns to Pre Pandemic Steel Production Levels
Latin AmericaBritannica

Latin America Returns to Pre Pandemic Steel Production Levels

Latin American steel association Alacero announced –that the Latin American steel market continues its normalization process where, on the one hand, the

Latin American steel association Alacero announced –that the Latin American steel market continues its normalization process where, on the one hand, the production of rolled steel evolves favorably in the face of the recovery in demand; and on the other hand, imports continue to pose a risk to the production and performance of steel companies. Alacero said “The momentum in demand for steel in the region continues to favor the normalization of steel production, where the accumulated figure of rolled steel up to March was 13.46 million tonnes, 6% higher than that registered in the same period 2020, and 4.1% higher than the level of the same period in 2019.”

Alacero said “In the monthly comparison, an increase of 11.5% is observed compared to March 2020 and 13.1% compared to February 2021, led by Mexico + 33.1%. The results had their best record since April 2018, when there was no pandemic. Seamless tubes stood out for the 24.2% increase in production to 96.7 thousand tonnes, followed by longs, with an increase of 16.7% 2.45 million tonnes and flats, whose production grew by 8.9% to 2.16 million tonnes. The consumption of rolled products, especially in the construction and manufacturing sectors of the three main Latin American economies (Mexico, Brazil and Argentina), was reflected in increases of 2.7% and 13.2% in relation to the 2019 figures and 2020, respectively, totaling 5.58 million tonnes.”

Alacero added “In February, imports registered an increase of 13.3% compared to the same month of 2020, but had a decrease of 7.4% in relation to the last month of January; even so, they continued to represent 35% of regional consumption. The current month of May could be a possible point of resumption of imports, pointing to the levels of previous years. Situation that must be closely monitored and followed by governments to prevent sudden growth from affecting regional production. Regarding exports, the region experienced a decrease due to the recovery of local demand; the February figure was similar to that of January (-0.5%) and 22.9% lower than February 2020. The trade balance had a reduction of 9.7% compared to the previous month with a negative balance of 1,435, 6 thousand tonnes.”

Alacero also said “Finally, there are great challenges for the sustained economic reactivation in Latin America. Among the main ones are the start-up of plants and suspended projects, economic and financial support to mitigate the effects of Covid-19, the reduction of high unemployment rates, the strengthening of public health systems, the stimulus to national and foreign investment, political stability and respect for the rule of law. It is important that the countries concentrate their efforts on overcoming these problems in order to consolidate the ongoing recovery.”

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