VIDEO: The challenges of Latin America's steel industry

Steel First recently visited Santiago, Chile, for the Latin American steel conference, where the opportunities and challenges for the regional steel industry were discussed.

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Delegates highlighted the region’s advantages such as the emerging middle class and access to natural resources, but also noted that the region has been affected by a loss of competitiveness and an import boom.

Raúl Gutiérrez, who just left the presidency of Alacero, the Latin American steel association, spoke to Steel First at the conference.

“I think the biggest challenge [for the Latin American steel industry] is to increase our participation in the economies by integrating the metal-mechanic sector with us,” Gutiérrez said.

The former Alacero president believes the problem of Latin America is that the region has an export surplus with raw materials, but still has a deficit in steel finished products.

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