Steelmakers in Mexico produced more than 20 million tons of steel in 2017, demonstrating a 6.2 percent increase over the prior year, according to Canacero, that nation’s steel trade association.
Steel also was consumed at a faster pace in Mexico, with Canacero reporting the nation used 29.7 million tons of steel in 2017, up 4.4 percent from the 2016 figure.
On the production side, semifinished steel growth rose by 32 percent in 2017, according to the group, growing by about 500,000 tons.
Canacero pegs the nation’s installed steelmaking capacity at 29.5 million tons, meaning in 2017 the industry’s mills operated at a 68 percent capability utilization rate.
In addition to making more steel, Mexico also had to import more in 2017, with imports rising 7.3 percent in volume compared to 2016. The nation’s steel exports, however, grew by 15.4 percent. Even with that export growth, Mexico’s steel trading deficit stood at about 9.7 million metric tons, according to Canacero.
Through the first 11 months of 2017, Mexico had imported some 3.8 million metric tons of steel from the United States, followed by 2.4 million metric tons from Japan and slightly more than 2 million metric tons from South Korea. No other nation exported more than 610,000 metric tons to Mexico during that time frame.