Latin American steel output flat in July

Crude steel production in Latin America was flat in July in comparison with the corresponding month in 2011, according to figures released late on Tuesday August 14 by regional steel association Alacero.

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Output reached 5.96 million tonnes in July, level with a year earlier, the figures showed, although these included some estimates rather than reported numbers.

Production has probably decreased year-on-year, however, as Alacero estimated an output of 474,000 tonnes in Argentina, which would mean a 4% decrease.

Figures released by Argentina’s own steel association, Acero Argentino, earlier on Tuesday showed that July’s output actually plunged by nearly 30% to 344,000 tonnes, as a consequence of maintenance work carried out by two local steelmakers.

Alacero’s figures for Brazil showed that the region’s largest crude steel producer reported a 4% year-on-year decrease to 3 million tonnes.

Mexico produced 1.68 million tonnes, up by 7% year-on-year, but Venezuela recorded a 15% fall, to 228,000 tonnes.

Crude steel output totalled 39.62 million tonnes between January and July, down by 1% from the same period in 2011.

Finished steel production increased, however, both in July and in the first seven months of 2012.

In July, output rose by 14% year-on-year to 5.22 million tonnes, while in January-July the increase reached 5%, at 33.99 million tonnes.