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Lifting equipment market conditions in Latin America rely on the local political

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Lifting equipment market conditions in Latin America rely on the local political climate, which affects commodities and projects. Paola De Pascali reports

Imocom put Stahl cranes to work at Santafe de Bogota in Colombia
Harrington Tiger Track Jib working in Latin America
Jaso Industrial Cranes supplied eight double-girder and six single-girder cranes for the long steel plant of Siderúrgica Latino Americana in São Gonçalo do Amarante, Brazil

Deacero, one of the world’s largest wire manufacturers, used Jaso Cranes for some steel works lifting solutions
GH cranes working at the Integrity Tool and Mold project in which a new plant was built in the Marques Querétaro
A ZX hoist in Street’s manufacturing facility

Over the last few years Latin America has been affected by a recession and a series of political changes. Some countries have been hit more than others, but there is a general slowdown in industrial investments.

“It is no secret that the materials handling market has been heavily hit by these issues and new strategies must be developed,” says Karsten Hönack, Stahl’s area sales manager in Latin America. “An increasing presence of competitors looking for better markets bring additional challenges into this constellation. But only the best suppliers with solid engineering and a close customer relation will do the long term run.

“Due to low raw material prices many projects have been set on hold and maintenance jobs have increased as machinery needs to run over the operational lifetime and be overhauled at site.”

Harrington Hoists vice president of sales Jim Small says, “The Chilean economy continues to recover strength after the interruption suffered by the mining strike at the beginning of 2017,” says Small. “The economy still suffers from the lack of investment in previous years. Assuming that the economy will progress in the remainder of the year, average growth will only reach 1.5% in 2017, slightly less than 1.6% recorded in 2016. The Chilean economy will record its fourth year of continuous deceleration.

“In Argentina, after the severe crisis of the early 2000, the economy had a rapid growth, and then slowed. However, after a low growth in 2015, the country re-entered recession in 2016, with -1.8% growth.

Argentina has considerable potential in raw materials, such as lithium, and the world’s second-largest shale gas reservoir and biggest in South America.

“In Peru, 60% of exports are mining and almost half of these exports are copper, which is why the price of copper is the most influential economic variable. Private investment is currently around 14.4% and is projected to reach 17.6% next year, focused mainly in mining industry, which goes along with the growth of 2.5% expected for 2017.

“In Ecuador the official closing of 2015 had a fixed GDP decrease by 1.7% and for the year 2016 projected a negative rate of 2.1%. The main cause of this deterioration has been the fall in international prices of raw materials, oil being the most important for Ecuador.

“Mexico is very unpredictable at the moment. The NAFTA renegotiations, the national elections for President in Mexico in 2018, the tax bill currently being discussed in the US, are all affecting daily operations due to uncertainty.

“Even the USD/MXP exchange rate can change radically with any sort of news regarding the above mentioned subjects. The Mexican economy is very tied to the US economy; if the USD does well, the Mexican economy tends to also do well as most of their exports are sent to the US.

“If the NAFTA trade agreement were to be cancelled, if left-leaning politician López Obrador is elected next year in Mexico— and he has been leading the polls and discussing mimicking Venezuela in Mexico— or if the barrel of oil were to stay under $50, it will be a difficult few years for Mexico.”

Projects in Action

GH México sales manager Guillermo Ruiz explains that GH has several facilities in Mexico.

“One of the most outstanding customers is one of the top American companies, who has bought so far about 90 cranes, with another 11 cranes currently being manufactured for them,” says Ruiz.

“Another installation is at Integrity Tool and Mold for which two 50t cranes have been put at work. This is a Canadian customer that is dedicated to the manufacture and repair of injection molds.”

Jaso Industrial Cranes has supplied 14 bridge cranes for the long steel plant of Siderúrgica Latino Americana in São Gonçalo do Amarante, Brazil.

As a global engineering company serving the largest steel producers in more than 30 countries, Russula was in charge of carrying out this turnkey project for the Brazilian company Silat, one of the main steel producers of the country.

“Russula relied on the experience and know-how of Jaso in the steel sector for the start-up of the long steel mill,” says Fernandez.

“We installed eight double-girder open winch cranes and six single-girder wire rope hoists cranes of different capacities and spans for the rolling mill project, from the handling of billet and corrugated material, to shipment.”

Lifting equipment market conditions in Latin America rely on the local political climate


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