Mexico continues to grow as a steelmaker and ferrous scrap consumer, establishing itself as the clear No. 2 destination for scrap exports from the neighboring US.
As a result of this, Argus has expanded its industry-leading ferrous scrap coverage to Mexico with the launch of delivered mill prices for Monterrey and neighboring Saltillo, Coahuila, on 3 November.
Mexico ferrous scrap specifications
|delivered Monterrey/Saltillo mill
|Mixto (mixed HMS)
The price launch complements Argus’ existing comprehensive coverage of the US ferrous scrap market, providing local Mexican market participants as well as manufacturers with a new option for indexing scrap sales or purchases. Argus assesses four grades--#1 busheling, pesado (HMS), mixto (mixed HMS) and P&S 5ft—in Mexican pesos/tonne and $/t, and are now available in the Argus Scrap Markets service.
Mexico was the world’s 14th largest steel producer in 2022, 10th largest consumer of steel and projected to overtake Italy as the ninth largest consumer in 2023, according to World Steel. With even more production capacity set to come online in the next few years — especially in the Monterrey/Saltillo region — the addition of these Argus scrap prices gives market participants more insight into this key location.
Mexico is a particularly strong consumer of US scrap, especially from the southeast and Texas, and the US is the primary supplier of ferrous scrap into the country. The US exported 3mn t of scrap to Mexico in full-year 2022, according to Global Trade Tracker – second only to exports to Turkey. Mexican imports stand at 1.66mn t through August, 1.3mn t of which came from the US.
Source: Global Trade Trader
Electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmaker Ternium is set to build a new 2.6mn metric tonne/yr slab mill at its existing Pesquería site outside of Monterrey, along with an adjacent 2.1mn t/yr direct reduced iron (DRI) plant by 2026. Long steelmaker Deacero is also investing $1bn in the next three years to acquire more machinery and equipment at its Saltillo complex and Celaya site in the central state of Guanajuato.
Along with these expansions, several US companies are making moves to expand their operations in the country. Kloeckner Metals in August closed on its acquisition of steel service center National Material of Mexico. Industrial company Esmark in early October announced the creation of its Monclova, Coahuila-based Esmark Steel International, which will supply customers in the region with flat-rolled steel for automotive and electrical consumption. Recycler Dimeca, the second largest in the region, will commission a 140,000 t/yr shredder by the end of this year. US steelmaker SDI in the last three years acquired two major recyclers in the Monterrey area – Roca Acero and Zimmer – under its recycling arm, Omni.