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Imports totalled 19.83 million tonnes in 2012, up from the 18.14 million tonnes Alacero predicted in October last year.
Mexico was by far the most significant importer last year, taking 7.41 million tonnes, up from 5.77 million tonnes in 2011, according to figures published by Alacero on Tuesday February 19.
Brazil came next, with finished steel imports of 3.39 million tonnes, a decrease from 2011’s 3.6 million tonnes.
Colombia, Peru and Chile were the next largest steel importers, respectively taking 1.85 million tonnes, 1.57 million tonnes, and 1.55 million tonnes.
Ecuador and Argentina both imported less than 1 million tonnes of finished steel in 2012 – 934,600 tonnes and 904,800 tonnes, respectively.
In 2011, imports reached 1.56 million tonnes in Colombia, 1.44 million tonnes in Peru, 1.29 million tonnes in Ecuador, 1.11 million tonnes in Chile, and 983,000 tonnes in Argentina, according to Alacero’s figures released last October.
Latin American countries exported 8.27 million tonnes of finished steel products in 2012, roughly the same as in 2011.
Mexico exported 3.26 million tonnes, Brazil 2.96 million tonnes, and Argentina 1 million tonnes.
Latin American countries imported almost 20 million tonnes of finished steel products last year, an all-time record and much more than the 17 million tonnes reported in 2011, according to new figures from the region’s steel association, Alacero.