Latin American steel association Alacero announced that the growth rate of steel activities continues its upward trend, despite the prospects for an uneven recovery in Latin American countries. In September, consumption totalled 5,025 million tonnes, an increase of 6.4% compared to August. This recovery was mainly leveraged by Brazil, Mexico and Peru, respectively. In the month, flat steel accounted for more than 85% of the recovery in consumption, while longs accounted for 17.5%. Steel consumption reached 14,245 million tonnes in the third quarter, which represents an increase of 15.9% compared to the second quarter.
In October, crude steel production totalled 5,058 million tonnes, an increase of 1.7% compared to the same month of 2019. In this period, Altos Hornos production grew 4.8%, to 2,546 million tonnes, compared to September, while Electric Furnaces reached 2,512 million tonnes, a recovery of 10.2% compared to the previous month. Regarding rolled products, October production reached 4,438 million tonnes, which represents an increase of 8.1% compared to September and 2.6% compared to October 2019. The production of seamless tubes had the highest growth of 26%, followed by flats, with an increase of 8.4%, and longs with 7.3%.
Exports played an important role in the growth of production, representing 14.6% of it in September, when the average for the first 8 months was 17.6%. This performance contributed to the reduction of the trade deficit.
Imports represented 27.6% of consumption in September, below the 34.6% identified as the average for the first 8 months of the year. However, the excess productive capacity that the region is experiencing means that local production has a way to go. These import figures force us to be vigilant and identify unfair trade.