The Mexican steel industry stands as the second largest in Latin America and continues to grow. As a result, Argus launched new Monterrey and Saltillo ferrous scrap prices – a strategic move aimed at providing steelmakers and recyclers with alternative indexation opportunities for scrap transactions.
Join Latin America Business Development Manager, Sergio Meana, and US metals deputy editor, Marialuisa Rincon, in this podcast unraveling the complexities of the Mexican market and the strategic fundamentals supporting this launch.
Download a sample of Argus Scrap Markets or request a trial for the latest in-depth coverage of ferrous and non-ferrous scrap, along with finished products for key regions in the US, European, Middle Eastern and Asia-Pacific markets.
Read more about the foundational elements behind the price launch in our latest blog: Mexico steelmaking expansions fuel scrap demand.
Argus provides daily price assessments, key market dynamics and analysis for the US ferrous scrap market. Find out more: Argus Scrap MarketsTranscript:
Sergio Meana (SM): Hello and welcome to another episode of the “Metal Movers” podcast, where we talk about the most relevant global topics of the large Metal industry. This is brought to you by Argus Media, a leading independent provider of commodity and pricing information. My name is Sergio Meana, I am the Business Development Manager at Argus for Latin America. In today's episode, we’re talking with Marialuisa Rincon, our US Deputy Metals Editor, about the launch of our Mexican scrap assessments. You can read more about the market in the Argus Scrap Markets publication. Welcome, Marialuisa.
Marialuisa Rincon (MR): Hi Sergio, thanks. I'm happy to be here.
Sergio Meana: We're happy as well. Tell us about this new development. I don't know if you could first set the stage and tell us a bit more about the Mexican scrap market and why we are launching there.
Marialuisa Rincon: Sure. Mexico is the second largest steel market in Latin America after Brazil, of course. Even so, it's still steadily growing as a steelmaker and, more importantly, for us, on the pricing side, as a ferrous scrap consumer, it's a huge destination for scrap exports from the US it's second only to Turkey in that field. All that being said, it was the natural next step in our industry leading fair scrap coverage to expand there. We launched on the 3rd of November and so we're giving recyclers and steel makers in the region an alternative indexation option when they're buying or selling scrap.
Sergio Meana: That's great. I hear there's a lot of excitement in the in the market about these new prices, but can you tell us exactly what, what prices are we looking here?
Marialuisa Rincon: So we started in the Monterrey and Saltillo region in northeast Mexico and that's where the largest volume of steelmaking in the country happens. There's also the central region as well as the Bajío further South. Our delivered consumer prices are for mixto, pesado, which are both variations of heavy melting scrap, busheling and plate and structural all reflect the prices of which the mills in the area are buying from suppliers there. Also, because the Mexican market is so closely tied to Texas and the southeast scrap markets, the prices are assessed in pesos per metric ton as well as dollars.
Sergio Meana: That that sounds great! Can you tell us and for our listeners outside of Mexico, how big this market is Mexico?
Marialuisa Rincon: I'm going off World Steel’s 2022 numbers - Mexico was the 10th largest consumer of steel. It is expected to overtake Italy as the 9th largest next year. It's the 14th biggest producer of steel in the world, again, according to World Steel. The US exported 3,000,000 tons of scrap to Mexico last year in 2022 and so far, this year they're up to 1.6 million tons. So, a lot.
Sergio Meana: Wow. Yeah, that is, that is quite a lot of steel. So where does all that Mexican and US-origin scrap go?
Marialuisa Rincon: OK, if you're ready for the list, there's plenty of places for it. Ternium, which is in this region that we're pricing, is building a 2.6 million tonne per year slab mill in Pesquería, which is in the Monterrey metropolitan area, and they have an adjacent 2.1 ton per year DRI plant at that same existing complex. Now, that's not ferrous scrap, but it does show you the size of the operation that they're trying to get. Deacero is investing a billion dollars in the next few years to expand both their Saltillo and Celaya Mills. Celaya is in Guanajuato. As for more supply, Dimeca, which is the second largest recycler in the Monterrey region, is commissioning a shredder with 140,000 ton per year capacity and that should be by the end of this year. SDI, which is a US steelmaker in the last few years they acquired Roca Acero and Zimmer, which were too large, major recyclers in this region, and they have a mill and sent in Texas. So you know it's where the driven the market is looking at. Sergio Meana: Wow, that is, that: is quite a lot. From what I see a growing market and with investment from both sides from the US and Mexico. I don't know if there's any other US based companies that are working in Mexico as well. Marialuisa Rincon: As a matter of fact, there are. US service center Kloeckner recently acquired National Material of Mexico in August, which was a service center in in Mexico. And there's a US industrial company named Esmark Steel International. They recently announced in the last month that they'll be expanding into Monclova, Coahuila. They'll have a company there called Esmark Steel International and that is the same place where Altos Hornos used to be. So, there is a lot of steelmaking spirit in this region.
Sergio Meana: Wow, so quite an exciting development and I know that here in Argus and in the industry we're all very excited for these prices. Congratulations Marialuisa for assessing these new prices. Thank you very much for joining us today.
Marialuisa Rincon: Thank you for having me.
Sergio Meana: Alright, so for more episodes of the Metal Movers Podcast and more information of our metal’s coverage, please visit argusmedia.com. And as we said in the beginning, all this information is all now ready in the Argus Scrap Markets publication. Thank you very much for listening and we'll see you in the next episode.