Apparent consumption of finished steel in Latin America was 45.2Mt in the first nine months of the year, down 12% compared with the same period 2015, regional steel association Alacero reported.
But there were increases in steel consumption in Peru (up 7% or 140,200t), Mexico (up 0.4% or 76,200t) and Honduras (up 11% or 23,600t).
In contrast, in Brazil – the region's largest economy – finished steel consumption tumbled 16%, or 2.60Mt. Argentina reported a 23% decline in consumption, while Chile, Colombia and Ecuador saw decreases of 8%, 6% and 24%, respectively, the trade group said. Consumption in Venezuela contracted 73%, or by 1.24Mt.
FINISHED STEEL OUTPUT
Latin America produced 37.9Mt of finished steel in January to September, down 6% year-on-year, according to Alacero.
Brazil was the biggest producer in the region, pumping out 15.8Mt, or 42% of the total, followed by Mexico with 14.2Mt and a 37% market share.
Latin America imported 14.3Mt of finished steel in the first nine months, down 20% from 18Mt in the same period 2015, accounting for 32% of the region's finished steel consumption.
Finished steel exports from Latin America totaled 6.6Mt in the period, up 3%, Alacero said. As a result, the industry reported a trade deficit of 7.7Mt, compared with 11.5Mt in January-September 2015.