ALACERO: Venezuela steel exports to surge in 2013

Venezuela’s finished steel exports are expected to triple to more than a million tonnes in 2013, as state-owned steel producer Sidor ramps up output.

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Exports will reach 1.22 million tonnes next year, up from the 398,000 tonnes expected for 2012 and the 652,000 tonnes exported in 2011, Latin American steel association Alacero revealed at its 53rd steel conference in Santiago, Chile, this week.

The lower figure for 2012 is a result of reduced production by Venezuela’s principal steelmaker, state-owned Siderúrgica del Orinoco (Sidor).

Because of this, Sidor has been virtually out of the export market in recent months, sources told Steel First.

Production levels have been increasing in the second half of the year, however, and Sidor should return to the export market by the end of this year or the beginning of 2013, Steel First heard. 

Chile is also predicted to increase its finished steel exports by 11.8% year-on-year in 2013, to 104,000 tonnes. Exports in 2012 are set to increase by 16.2%, to 93,000 tonnes from 80,000 tonnes.

Steel exports from Brazil, meanwhile, are expected to decline to 9.87 million tonnes this year from 10.84 million tonnes in 2011, before growing by 6.4% in 2013 to 10.5 million tonnes.

Mexican finished steel exports are forecast to increase to 3.65 million tonnes in 2012 from last year’s 3.28 million tonnes. For 2013, these exports should see 5.9% growth, reaching 3.86 million tonnes.

In general, Latin America’s finished steel exports are expected to fall by 4.2% year-on-year in 2012, to 15.4 million tonnes, before increasing by 11% in 2013 to 17.15 million tonnes.

These figures comprise all exports from the region’s countries, including trade within the region. 

Alacero predicts stability for finished steel imports into the region in 2013 compared with this year.

Imports are expected to increase in 2012 to 18.14 million tonnes, from about 17 million tonnes in 2011.

The largest growth in imports will be in Chile, where finished steel imports are expected to reach 1.41 million tonnes this year, up from 1.1 million tonnes.

In 2013, Chilean imports are predicted to increase by a further 22%, amounting to 1.73 million tonnes, Alacero figures show.