Each month, the Leeco® Trading team reviews market data and economic news to analyze trading conditions for our key customer regions. This month, the news and data we examined indicate manufacturing activity in key regional economies is slowing and may remain flat for the remainder of 2019. Here are the top metrics we are looking at this month.

Market Metrics to Watch

Manufacturing PMI

0
Brazil*
0
Mexico*
0
South Africa*

*AS OF OCTOBER 2019

Brazil’s PMI fell in October, while Mexico’s PMI rose to an eight-month high. South Africa’s PMI increased, but remains at a level of contraction.

Capacity Utilization

0
Brazil*
0
Mexico**
0
South Africa***

*AS OF SEPTEMBER 2019

**AS OF AUGUST 2019

***AS OF JUNE 2019

Capacity utilization for Mexico decreased month-over-month, while South Africa and Brazil’s capacity utilization remained unchanged month-over-month in June and September, respectively.

Imports

Below is a chart showing import levels of key Latin American countries Mexico, Brazil and Chile, as of October 2019. Imports increased in each of these countries during October.

Car Production

0k
Brazil*
0k
Mexico*

*AS OF SEPTEMBER 2019

Both Brazil and Mexico saw decreases in month-over-month car production in September. Car production greatly impacts imports and exports, so this figure is closely watched.

Consumer Confidence

0
Brazil*
0
Mexico*

*AS OF SEPTEMBER 2019

Consumer confidence rose month-over-month for both Brazil and Mexico in September. Intentions for consumers in Mexico to purchase durable goods rose.

GDP Growth Rate

0%
Colombia*

*AS OF Q3 2019

After surging to 1.4% in Q2, Colombia’s Q3 GDP growth rate fell to 0.6%, lower than expected. GDP growth rate is closely watched to gauge regional economic health.

Executive Perspective

With manufacturing activity slowing in both regional and global economies, Antonio Rosset, Commercial Director of Leeco Trading, explains how manufacturers should consider where they source raw materials from to help control costs.

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“As manufacturing activity slows in key regional economies, it’s important for manufacturers to consider international and domestic sources for raw materials to help control production costs,” Antonio said. “With decades of experience in sourcing steel and metal products, Leeco Trading is prepared to meet your international sourcing needs and help you lower raw material costs.”

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Economic News to Follow

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

Mexico’s Industrial Output Falls

Mexico’s industrial production fell 1.8% in September, slightly below expectations of a 1.9% drop. Output for construction and utilities dropped, but manufacturing production rebounded from -0.2% to a 0.8% level of growth.

Chile’s Economic Activity Increases

Economic activity in Chile increased 3% year-over-year in September. Chile’s central bank said rises in construction and service sectors boosted the economy. However, October’s economic activity is expected to be flat or negative due to unrest in Chile.

Peru to Cut 2019 Growth Forecast For Third Time

Peru’s central bank announced it intends to cut its growth projection for 2019 as the economy and public investment slowdown – this would be the third growth rate cut this year. The central bank stated they will announce a reduction of the current growth forecast on Dec. 20.

Business Confidence, Manufacturing Fall in South Africa

South Africa’s manufacturing contracted more than expected in September, falling 2.4% year-over-year. A business confidence survey for October showed investors and managers were downbeat about the economy due to decreased export and import values, weaker exchange rate depreciation and electricity supply disruptions.