Imports, foreign ownership have big industry impact in Mexico

Dec 31, 2012 | 07:00 PM | Myra Pinkham

Tags  Al Zapanta, U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, Mexico, steel, Myra Pinkham

While Mexican steel consumption is quite strong, domestic producers aren’t feeling as much of a benefit as would be expected due to a combination of rising imports and foreign investment.

With a number of Mexican steelmakers purchased by foreign companies over the past 20 years, “there really isn’t as much of a Mexican steel industry as there used to be,” said Al Zapanta, president and chief executive officer of the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce.

Mexico used to be a leader in both the production of steel and the manufacture of specialty parts, but that has changed, Zapanta said, noting that Mexican-owned companies have produced virtually no steel pipe since the country’s largest pipe mill, Tubos de Acero de Mexico SA, was acquired by Tenaris SA nearly 10 years ago. “Also, there aren’t as many domestically owned plate producers as there used to be.”....

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