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Santiago, Chile, February 19th, 2013. Apparent steel use in Latin America and the Caribbean reached a volume of 64.6 million tons during 2012, 3% more than in 2011. Growth of regional consumption was mainly driven by Chile (+22%) and Peru (+18%). Production of finished steel increased 2% compared to 2011 and extended to 56.4 million tons.
In December 2012, region´s finished steel use was 4.7 million tons, 4% less than in same month of 2011.
Production of finished steel reached a volume of 56.4 million tons during 2012. Brazil represented 47% (26.2 million tons). Mexico was the second largest producer with 15.9 million tons (28%).
In January 2013, finished steel production reached 4.4 million tons in Latin America (2% more than same month of 2012). Brazil and Mexico continued to be the most important finished steel producers with 2 million and 1.3 million tons, respectively.
Latin American crude steel production reached a volume of 66 million tons during 2012, 2% less than the cu-mulated volume of 2011. The two main producers, Brazil and Mexico, accounted for 34.7 and 18.1 million tons respectively.
 Preliminary figures, include estimations
In January 2013 crude steel production (4.8 million tons) was 10% lower than in the same month of 2012.
With 2.8 million tons, Brazil was the country with the highest crude steel production in January 2013, followed by Mexico (1 million tons). Crude steel production in Argentina fell 19% compared to January 2012.
Trade deficit of finished steel products reached 11.6 million tons during 2012, while the imbalance in 2011 had been -8.7 million tons.
In 2012, all Latin American and Caribbean countries -except Argentina and the Dominican Republic- showed finished steel trade deficit. Mexico presented the most significant deficit of 4.1 million tons, as well as other countries like Colombia (-1.8 million tons), Chile (-1.5 million tons) and Peru (-1.4 million tons).
Crude Steel: Steel in its most basic form, coming from the continuous casting process, (slap, billet etc.). To obtain the qualities necessary for usage, this kind of steel needs to pass posterior processes, like rolling etc.
Finished steel or wrought steel: Refers to steel included in one of these 3 groups: Long products (e.g.: reinforcing bars, bars, wire rod, light sections, heavy sections, rails), flat steel (e.g.: sheets and coils, coated sheets, pre-painted, stainless steel, chrome-plate sheets, hot dip galvanized sheet etc.) and seamless tubes.
Alacero –Latin American Steel Association- is the organization that brings together the Steel Value Chain of Latin America to promote the values of regional integration, technological innovation, corporate responsibility and so¬cial and environmental sustainability. Founded in 1959, Alacero is formed by 52 companies of 25 countries, whose production –of about 70 million annual tons- represents 95% of the steel manufactured in Latin America. Alacero is a Special Consulting Organization to the United Nations and is recognized as International Non-Government Orga-nization by the Republic of Chile, host country of Alacero´s headquarters.