Steel consumption rises, trade deficit deepens in Latin America

The Latin American steel industry reported an increase in regional consumption of steel products and a deepening of its trade deficit with other countries in the first half of 2012, local steel association Alacero said.

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Apparent consumption of finished steel increased by 12% in January-June this year in comparison with the same period of 2011, to 34.35 million tonnes.

Finished steel exports from Latin American countries reached 3.97 million tonnes in the first six months of 2012, while imports of finished steel in the whole region totalled 10.08 million tonnes.

“During January-June 2012, the regional deficit increased to 6.1 million tonnes, while the deficit in the first half of 2011 was 3.5 million tonnes,” Alacero said.

The difference between the region’s finished steel exports and imports built to 5.2 million tonnes between January and May this year, which means the deficit has been increasing by around 1 million tonnes per month, Alacero’s figures showed.

In June alone, Latin America exported 672,000 tonnes and imported 1.65 million tonnes of finished steel.

Apparent steel consumption reached 5.75 million tonnes in June, up by 9% year-on-year.