Argentina’s crude steel production in March declined by 26.8pc to 286,200mt compared to March 2019 and 16.7pc from February’s 343,000mt, according to the Argentine Chamber of Steel (Acero).
Crude steel production declined drastically by 72pc compared to the first working days in March because of strict quarantine orders by the Argentina government.
Finished steel production in March 2020 fell by 5.5pc to 234,200mt, compared to February’s 247,900mt and down 23.9pc from March 2019. In March, hot rolled coil production declined by 27.4pc to 263,800mt compared to the same month a year ago while cold rolled coil fell by 41.5pc to 56,700mt from March 2019.
Acero data indicated April is already showing a decline in shipments of 70-80pc compared to a year ago on concerns around options related to giving and receiving payments.
Overall steel consuming segments in the country are expected to remain inert on slow direct demand because of the global energy crisis as oil prices plummet. Sectors most influencing the loss in production and shipments include construction, automotive, and energy tubulars.
All industrial plants in Argentina except those with essential production designations are closed due to the COVID-19 public health policies. Those manufacturing sites under operations are doing so with minimal staff with appropriate safety measures.
Operational steel companies are focusing on steel production related to food containers, aerosols, modulars for hospitals, tubing for export, and tubes related to oxygen systems and wire rod grades associated with bailing of wool and cotton according to Acero.