The downturn doesn’t differentiate north of from south of

Feb 24, 2009 | 05:28 AM |

The similarities that exist in the Mexican and U.S. markets for steel—and the challenges they are facing—are stark and profound. There is little argument that what affects the U.S. market for steel products has a direct impact on Mexico in almost every aspect, from demand to consumption to production to trade-related matters.

Those similarities and the strategies now being employed to meet the challenges brought to the industry by the global economic crisis were the key focus of AMM's 14th Annual Mexican Steel Conference in Monterrey. The conference took an in-depth look at the challenges through the eyes of experts from both sides of the border.

What transpired during the conference, which ended with plant tours of nearby facilities operated by Whirlpool Corp., Benton Harbor, Mich., and General Motors Corp., Detroit, was a historical perspective of how the markets have developed, followed by a brisk exchange of ideas on how economic and trade factors are impacting both steel producers and consumers in the United States and Mexico.

It was noted by several experts that long-standing problems remain in play. Some of them are specific to border-crossing, with a panel of transportation, trade and logistics experts explaining that tedious paperwork issues continue to delay shipments at the U.S.-Mexican border. ....

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