MEXICO CITY Mexican steel association Canacero has urged the government to adopt safeguard measures to control steel imports, largely those from outside the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) region.
Mexican imports of finished steel products rose 29 percent in the January-through-November period of 2012, reaching 5.5 million tonnes.
Imports of manufactured steel products rose 30.4 percent to 2 million tonnes.
Unfair trading practices and imports could depress domestic production rates and investment in the Mexican steel industry, Canacero warned.
"The gravity of the situation requires immediate action by the authorities, in a similar way as United States and Canada, in the sense of strengthening and streamlining the surveillance," Salvador Quesada Salinas, general manager of Canacero, said in a statement.
Imports of most products into Mexico increased sharply in the January-to-November period, with flat products up 35.4 percent to 3.8 million tonnes and long products up 16.4 percent to 1.5 million tonnes.
Plate imports rose 32 percent and hot-rolled coil and wire rod imports jumped 46 percent for the first 11 months of the year, Canacero said.
Meanwhile, rebar imports skyrocketed by 314 percent, seam pipe jumped 46 percent and hot-dipped galvanized coil rose 45 percent.
Coated steel product imports rose 32.3 percent to 1.3 million tonnes over the same period, while seamless pipe imports rose 14.6 percent to reach 132,000 tonnes.
Canacero noted that a considerable volume of total imports comes from countries outside the Nafta area, including China, Russia and Ukraine.
"Imports will worsen in the coming months, given the detection of new shipments for the Mexican market, mainly from Ukraine and China," Canacero said.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.