Ecuador’s steel consumption to increase by 6-7% through 2012

Apparent steel consumption in Ecuador is expected to grow by 6-7% in 2012, compared with the 1.48 million tonnes reported last year.

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“This increase is mainly due to rising demand from both the construction and infrastructure sectors,” Guillermo Pavón, director of the country’s steel and metals association Fedimetal, told Steel First.

“This booming demand has contributed to lifting local consumption of steel products such as beams and bars,” he added.

Between January and August, Ecuadorian apparent steel consumption came to 995,000 tonnes, according to the latest figures from Latin America’s steel group, Alacero.

Pavón noted that, despite the healthy steel demand conditions in Ecuador, domestic mills continue to rely on steelmaking raw materials imports such as ferrous scrap.

“The availability of scrap in Ecuador is not enough [to meet steelmakers’ needs], and we have to import about 600,000 tonnes of scrap per year,” he said.

Imports of ferrous scrap come mostly from neighbouring countries in South America, but also from Asia.

Ecuadorian steelmakers Adelca, Andec and Novacero currently have a combined crude steel capacity of around 700,000 tpy, according to Pavón.

Crude steel output in Ecuador reached 323,000 tonnes between January and August, down by 4% compared with the corresponding period last year, Alacero data shows.