SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): The Latin American Steel Association (ALACERO) reported 17% surge in rolled steel production and demand each in the initial quarter of the current year.
The steel consumption reported third consecutive quarter of growth, primarily driven by construction and manufacturing sectors, especially in countries such as Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. The cumulative consumption totalled 18.4 million tons (Mt). The steel consumption during the month of March alone was up significantly by 27% over the same month a year before.
The steel imports by the region totalled 6.4 Mt in Jan-Mar ’21. This is higher by 15% when compared with the first three months of 2020. The share of imports from China surged higher to 52% in March as compared with 30% in January and 33% in February. The accumulated steel exports till March this year recorded decline by 17% over the previous year to 1.8 Mt. The trade deficit for the quarter stood higher by 36% than in Q1 2020.
ALACERO stated that demand continued to recover during the first quarter 2021. The sudden surge in imports, especially from China, represents serious risks to steel trade in the region. The recovery of steel industry and its value chain is crucial for the region, which has been badly impacted by Covid-19 pandemic crisis.
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