MEXICO CITY Gerdau Special Steel North America plans to increase sales to the Mexican market over the next few years, a top executive said.
Shipments of specialty steel products to the Latin American nation could increase by "20,000 or 30,000 tonnes per year" over three or four years to meet growing demand from the automotive industry, Gerardo Knochenhauer, sales manager in Mexico for the Gerdau SA subsidiary, told AMM sister publication Steel First on Feb. 8.
More material to feed the Mexican market will become available as expansion projects come on stream at the companys Monroe, Mich., plant.
The companys sales to Mexico have been increasing significantly for several years, Knochenhauer said.
"Ten or eleven years ago, we used to sell 20,000 tonnes per year just in our division, but last year, we shipped 140,000 tonnes of special steel products (to Mexico)," he said.
Gerdau sees great potential in Mexico, he added, as the country has been driven by several automotive projects as well as expansion ventures in other sectors that consume special steel products.
In the automotive industry alone, "almost $16 billion" in investments are expected over the next few years, with Mexico set to become "the seventh-largest producer and the third-largest exporter in the world," according to Jesús Serrano Landeros, director of heavy industries and high technology at the Mexican ministry of economy.
In the first phase of this latest expansion, overall installed capacity for special steel at Gerdaus Monroe plant will increase by 300,000 tons per year (amm.com, Oct. 24).
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.