Each month, the Leeco® Trading team reviews market data and economic news to analyze trading conditions for our key customer regions. The data we examined this month points towards mixed manufacturing and economic conditions as 2019 comes to an end. Here are the top metrics we are closely watching as the year ends to gauge 2020 conditions.

Market Metrics to Watch

Manufacturing PMI

0
Brazil*
0
Mexico*
0
South Africa*

*AS OF NOVEMBER 2019

Brazil’s PMI increased month-over-month in November, marking the fourth-consecutive month of rising output. Mexico and South Africa’s PMI decreased month-over-month from 50.4 and 48.1 in September as output continued to fall.

Capacity Utilization

0
Brazil*
0
Mexico*
0
South Africa**

*AS OF SEPTEMBER 2019

**AS OF JUNE 2019

Capacity utilization remained unchanged month-over-month in Brazil, Mexico and South Africa during September and June, respectively.

Imports

Below is a chart showing import levels of key Latin American countries Mexico, Brazil and Chile, as of November 2019. Imports decreased in both Brazil and Chile and increased in Mexico.

Declining Car Production

0k
Brazil*
0k
Mexico**

*AS OF NOVEMBER 2019

**AS OF OCTOBER 2019

Brazil saw a 21.2% month-over-month decrease in car production during November, while Mexico had a 13% month-over-month decrease in October.

Mixed Consumer Confidence

0
Colombia*
0
Mexico**

*AS OF SEPTEMBER 2019

**AS OF NOVEMBER 2019

Colombia’s consumer confidence increased from -10.7 in September, while Mexico’s decreased from 43.9 in November. Intentions to purchase durable goods in Mexico also decreased.

Brazil’s GDP Growth

0%
Brazil*

*AS OF Q3 2019

Brazil’s GDP growth rate increased in Q3, the strongest growth rate since Q1 of 2018. This increase indicates the government’s economic reform agenda is creating growth.

Executives Visit China

Antonio Rosset, Leeco Trading’s Commercial Director, and Denton Nordhues, Leeco Steel’s President & CEO, are visiting leading fertilizer manufacturers in China.

Building strong relationships with key suppliers helps Leeco Trading ensure we can offer a variety of raw material sourcing options for our customers.

More details of their trip will be shared in January!

Economic News to Follow

Recent economic news points towards slowing economic and manufacturing activity across key regional economies.

US, Mexico Continue USMCA Negotiations

Mexico’s top trade negotiator met with a US trade negotiator to resolve disagreements in the USMCA bill. Mexico’s trade negotiator said there were still outstanding issues, including labor-rights enforcement. Negotiations will continue through December.

Mexican Economy Slows

Mexico’s economy contracted at a rate of 0.1% for three straight quarters before falling flat in Q3 of 2019.  Economists say that Mexico’s economic slump indicates a “technical recession” for the country and is unusual with the US economy still growing.

Peru to Speed Up Infrastructure Spending

Peru will speed up $29 billion worth of infrastructure projects aimed at reviving public investment and boosting the economy. The economy ministry stated that the projects will help “reduce the infrastructure gap and boost economic development.”

Manufacturing, Business Activity Continue to Slow in South Africa

Manufacturing activity, which accounts for about 13% of South Africa’s GDP, continues to contract. The slowdown in manufacturing activity is contributing to the longest downward economic cycle since 1945. Business activity PMI dropped to 39.4, and new sales orders also declined. This indicates that manufacturing may slow further before the economy recovers.