Latin American update on steel sector performance in January to June 2014 period - September 2

Facing scenarios of weak global and regional economic growth, crude steel production and finished steel consumption remained unchanged during the first half of the year compared to same period of 2013. Moreover, finished steel production decreased 1%.


Finished steel use


Finished steel consumption in Latin America and the Caribbean reached 34.2 million tonnes in January to June 2014, in line with the same months of 2013. The only countries that grew during H1 2014 were Mexico (11%), Colombia (15%) and Argentina (5%). On the other hand, Venezuela's, Ecuador's and Chile ?s production continued to decline in terms of tonnes and percent changes.


Trade Balance


Between January to June 2014, regional trade of finished steel marked a deficit of -7 million tonnes, 11% deeper than H1 2013, when it had reached -6.4 million tonnes.


During January to June 2014, all Latin American and Caribbean countries described deficits in their trade of finished steel. Mexico showed the most marked imbalance of -2.3 million tonnes. It was followed by Colombia (-1.1 million tonnes), Peru (780,092 tonnes) and Chile (743,300 tonnes). The evolution of these trade flows and the balance is presented in Graph 02.




Regional production of crude steel in 1H2014 reached 32.2 million tonnes, in line with same period of 2013. Brazil was the top producer (16.7 million tonnes), accounting for 52% of the regional output but showing a slight fall of 1%.


During January to June 2014, the countries with the highest growth rates (YoY) in crude steel production were Argentina (+12%), Mexico (+ 6%) and Peru (+ 4%). Venezuela, Chile and Colombia posted declines of -42%, -18% and -2%, respectively.


During the H1 of the year, Latin America produced 28 million tonnes of finished steel, 1% less than the output recorded for the same period of 2013. Brazil appeared as the top producer (12.5 million tonnes), accounting for 45% of the Latin American production. Mexico came to the second place with 8.5 million tonnes (31%) and showed a significant increase of 9% YoY.


Other countries that increased their finished steel production of during January to June 2014 YoY were Colombia (+ 15%) and Ecuador (+ 1%). Meanwhile, Venezuela ?s and Chile ?s output dropped -40% and -25%, respectively.


Advanced information for July 2014 indicates that crude steel production reached 5.6 million tonnes during that month, 2% less than July 2013. Also, finished steel production closed at 4.5 million tonnes, down 5% YoY. Between January to July 2014, crude steel production reached 37.8 million tonnes, in line with same months of 2013, while production of finished steel reached 32.2 million tonnes down 2% YoY.




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