Latin America: Important supplier of steel in the world

Published on 10 August 2018

During 2017, steel exports from Latin America grew 12% and reached 63.9 million tons, reinforcing its global presence.

The American continent has a privileged geological potential that allows it to produce a large part of the minerals of greatest demand and value. Among the industrial metals, iron is one of the most outstanding, with iron and steel industries and concentrator plants that treat the ore according to the demands of the customers.

After the giant Brazil, which produced 54% of the 63.9 million tons of crude steel in the region, and 42% of the 52,900 tons of rolled steel in the same space, the other countries have a much smaller weight. Among these, the countries covered by our analysis also had an important participation.

In line with what is highlighted by the Chilean portal, the increase in most items is aligned with an increase in rolled steel consumption by 4%, according to data from the Latin American Steel Association (Alacero). It should be added that, except for Brazil and Argentina, the production of Latin American countries is mainly for local consumption: only 30% of steel consumption in the region was supplied with imports, and there was a trade deficit, but these two countries recorded a trade surplus of rolled steel of 3.5 tons and 145,000 tons, respectively.

Actualmente, la demanda y la producción siguen expandiéndose, pero el equilibrio se ha visto amenazado por la guerra comercial desatada por parte de los Estados Unidos, que ya ha puesto un arancel de 25% a las importaciones de acero chino, mexicano y canadiense, y podría hacerlo pronto con el de los países latinoamericanos. A pesar de esto, la demanda de China y la región sigue siendo fuerte, y si se registran cifras como los incrementos del consumo de acero laminado en México (+4%), Brasil (5%), Argentina (18%) y el Perú (+13%) a lo largo del 2017, puede mantenerse buenos fundamentos.

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