Rays of hope shine on Argentina's moribund steel industry

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Argentina's crude steel output dropped 27.5% year-on-year in August to 343,200t, according to data from local steel chamber CAA.

Sequentially, production fell 3.6% from 356,100t in July. Output for the first eight months of the year was down 17.4% to 2.76Mt.

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CAA, in a statement, said the local steel sector continues to underperform but added that signs of recovery have been observed in some areas, including agricultural machinery production – up 7% so far this year – and vehicle and motorcycle sales.

Steelmakers are still producing below installed capacity, which has allowed companies to carry out extraordinary maintenance work. Production lines have also been halted to bring stock levels down, the chamber noted.

Argentina's output of pig iron and sponge iron in August was 183,200t, down 46.4% year-on-year and down 18.9% month-on-month. Production in January-August was down 24.3% to 1.93Mt.

Hot-rolled flat and long steel output totaled 218,100t in August, down 44.9% year-on-year and 30.7% lower than in July. For the first eight months of the year production was down 17.3% to 2.52Mt.

Cold-rolled flat steel output totaled 67,600t in August, down 52.7% year-on-year and 46.5% from July. January-August production was 6.7% lower at 909,800t, the chamber said.