Latin American Steel Production Reaches Pre Pandemic Levels
common is the resilience of the steel-consuming sectors, which, as an essential material, is not only present in the recovery, but it is one of its engines of growth. In this context, steel production reached pre-pandemic levels, following a strong recovery in consumption in all sectors, as well as civil and automotive construction, particularly in Argentina and Mexico
Although the result of crude steel production in September, totaling 4,686 million tons, represents a decrease of 2.5% in relation to August, the decrease was only 0.2% in relation to the value registered in the same period of 2019. During this period, the production of blast furnaces decreased 7.1% (2,408 million tons) in relation to August, while the production of electric furnaces reached 2,278 million tons, a total of 2.9% higher.
In rolled products, September production increased by 4.6% compared to the result of August, largely due to the positive performance in Brazil, Mexico, and Peru. The advance, however, was not enough to contain the 6.5% inter-annual decline. The production of seamless tubes grew 7.3%, followed by an increase of 6.7% in flat and 2.8% in long products.
In August, steel consumption in Latin America grew 5.3% in relation to July, mainly due to the performance of Mexico, Chile, and Argentina, which registered growths of 10.9%, 19.8%, and 9.5%, respectively. Flat products accounted for 47.3% of the recovery, long products for 43.2%, and seamless tubes for 9.5%. Because of the pandemic, the reduction in inventories to preserve cash flow was a direct consequence for many steel producers, due to the lack of a horizon for the market resumption.