Alacero (Latin American Steel Association) announced that Latin America remains as a preferred destination for Chinese exports. Finished steel imports from China to Latin America reached 2.5 million tonnes between January and April 2014, 78% more than the 1.4 million tonnes registered during the same period of 2013.
During the first 4 months of 2014, China exported 23.3 million tonnes to the world, growing 33% YoY, a strong increase but not as notorious as the one observed in the flow to Latin America.
The region which accounts for 5% of the global finished steel consumption, maintained an 11% share of the finished steel exported by China during the first 4 months of the year.
Specifically, in April 2014, Latin America received 652,035 tonnes of finished steel from China becoming the second largest exports destination, only surpassed by South Korea (that received 1.1 million tonnes).
In this month, Chinese exports to Latin America grew 43% YoY. This growth is less marked than the one registered during Q1 2014, when a 95% increase took place as the usual seasonal drop in exports (rooted in the New Year celebrations) did not occur.
During the first 4 months of 2014, the most important increases YoY of finished steel imports from China were registered in: Brazil (+193%) and Mexico (+144%). Paraguay and Argentina while representing just 1% of the regional imports each, more than tripled their received volumes YoY.
Regarding Central America market share among regional destinations, it is worth highlighting that even when these countries represent only 4%% of the Latin American consumption, they concentrate 11% of the regional total imports of finished steel.
Among these imports, Chinese products account for more than half of the volume. This over dimensioned trade flow could be showing certain preference of some exporters for Central American countries especially Panama and its free trade zone as entry point to reach other markets in Latin America.
Source – Strategic Research Inatitute