Mexican steel production in 2017 totaled 20 million metric tons (mt), up 6.2% compared to 2016. Such figure includes 500,000 mt of semi-finished steel products, which represented a 32% hike, according to a report by Canacero, the country's steel chamber.
Laminated products remained unchanged with a marginal growth of 0.1%, plain products decreased 1.6%, long products grew 0.5% and seamless pipeline grew 16%, revealed the document which does not include volume figures. Derivatives grew 4.3%, representing an additional 250,000 tons.
Apparent steel consumption in the year reached 29.7 million mt, or 4.4% higher than 2016. Of the total consumed, semifinished jumped 11% year over year and finished steel products grew 5%.
Imports of steel goods increased 7.3% in 2017 when compared with the year before, while exports jumped 15.4%. The total volume imported last year was 14.9 million mt and exports reached 5.2 million mt. "In the net trade balance, the deficit increased about 300,000 mt to 9.7 million tons," Canacero said.
“Particularly with the United States we have an unfavorable balance of 1.3 million tons in rolled products, to which we export 1.8 million tons and import 3.1 million tons,” the document adds.
Mexico closed 2017 using 68% of its 29.5 million mt installed capacity, according to Canacero.