SANTIAGO – Latin America imported 5.7 million tons of structural steel from China in the first eight months of this year, up 5 percent from the same period in 2014, the Latin American Steel Association, or Alacero, reported.
China’s exports of structural steel increased 28 percent between January and August, to 65.4 million tons, Alacero said.
The increase in Chinese imports coincides with a 3 percent decrease in Latin America’s output of structural steel amid an economic slowdown in the region.
South Korea remained the single largest customer for Chinese steel, accounting for 8.5 million tons, or 13 percent of total foreign sales, followed by Vietnam with 6.2 million tons.
Alacero’s data show the main Latin American destinations for Chinese structural steel over the first eight months of this year were Brazil, with 16 percent, and Chile, which took 14 percent of the total.
Laminated or flat steel accounted for 60 percent of Latin American imports from China between January and August.
Over the same period, the region received 2 million tons of beam steel from China.