OJO  \ o-ho \
An Eye on Mexico
Audaxia Newsletter
January 2022


Kenton SchaeferFor Audaxia Logística

Welcome to OJO. It is our pleasure to present our January edition which contains our third and final Audaxia Cultura poster featuring Mr. Luis Barragán, Mexico’s master modernist architect. Our first poster was on Frida Khalo in 2020 with our second featuring the Palacio de Bellas Artes in 2021. Mr. Barragán was instrumental in creating the strength behind Mexico’s modern visual identity. His bold use of surface and color gives Mexico that striking appearance it so proudly showcases around the world. If you’d like to see or download past versions with either Spanish or English text (no text versions are also available), you can find them all on our website ( Or of course you can reach out to me directly.

Moving on, January. We’ve seen a busy start to the year. Some may say a predictable one. Rates have stayed strong with increases likely to follow. Port congestion and supply-chain difficulties continue to affect inflation, supply, and demand. And there is a general feel that what we experienced at the end of last year may be similar to what we will experience at the beginning of this one. This will most likely be another challenging year - but that’s probably something we all knew. So with that being said, we just KBO (“Keep Buggering On” - Winston Churchill). Bienvenidos a OJO.

Kenton Schaefer
Schaefer Stevedoring
Business Development 
& Marketing

For Audaxia Logística
A Schaefer Americas company

Email me directly.

This Month's Highlights

AHMSA Works Restructuring Process with Jefferies LLC

The Mexican steelmaker announced in early January that it has a contract with investment bank Jefferies LLC to “establish a capitalization or association agreement within the framework of its financial restructuring process”. A spokesperson of UNASIM (the largest mining union federation) sees this announcement “in good light”, as AHMSA has struggled with a severe crisis for years.
Inflation in Mexico Skyrockets up to 7.36% in 2021, the Highest in 21 Years

In an eerie resemblance to US inflation volatility, Mexico sees its highest rate in over two decades. With January’s inflation hitting 7.36%, the country far exceeds the objectives established by the Bank of Mexico (which estimated an inflation range of 3%).
Mexican Steel Industry Vs. COVID-19 After Shocks

Mexico’s ferrous scrap deficit has caused the country to rely predominantly on US exports to cover the 18 million tons of scrap demand expected for 2025 despite facing a post-COVID-19 steel demand and border logistics recovery.
Citi to Exit Mexican Consumer Business as Part of Strategy Revamp

The American multinational investment bank is ending its 20-year retail presence in the country. The bank’s acquisition of Banamex for $12.5 billion in 2001 was the largest ever in Mexico. Citibanamex was the last of its overseas consumer businesses since chief executive Jane Fraser pledged to simplify Citigroup by exiting non-core businesses.
Supply-Chain Hell Ignites Economic Boom Along U.S.-Mexico Border

In the midst of the never-ending supply chain global crisis, Mexico’s “maquiladoras” are booming with investment as US and other global companies are relocating some of its plants to cities such as Juarez, Reynosa, Matamoros or Piedras Negras. Near-shoring is gaining traction “where labor costs are cheap, land is plentiful and the border is just a short ride away”.
In Quest for Energy Independence, Mexico Is Buying a Texas Oil Refinery

President López Obrador wants to halt most oil exports and imports of gasoline and other fuels. Critics say he is reneging on Mexico’s climate change commitments.
Consumer Prices Rise 7%, Fastest Pace Since 1982

US inflation climbed to its highest level in 40 years at the end of 2021. As price increases are becoming more widespread, this figure provides further evidence that price gains are broadening beyond just a few pandemic-disrupted categories. A new concern for Democrats as the country is heading into a challenging midterm election year.
Supply Chain Bottlenecks, COVID Expected to Slow Global Growth

The World Bank is downgrading its outlook for the global economy, blaming continuing outbreaks of COVID-19, a reduction in government economic support and ongoing bottlenecks in global supply chains.
US Steel Imports Seen Rising in 2022

Imports of certain steel products (such as hot-rolled coil) increased in the later months of 2021. High US prices have made lower-priced imports more attractive despite tariffs, an industry analyst stated. Steel Manufacturers Association President Philip Bell said the finished steel import market share in the US reached 25% through the end of October, a statistic that “we should be concerned about”.
President Biden Issues Proclamations Adjusting Imports of Steel and Aluminum into the United States

Both proclamations formalize the implementation of a tariff-rate quota (TRQ) that will restrict the quantity of steel and aluminum imported into the United States from the EU without the application of the Section 232 tariffs imposed previously by the Trump administration. The proclamations direct the Department of Commerce to issue a notice in the Federal Register no later than February 10th.
Tianjin Covid-19 Jitters Ease, No Significant Steel-Market Impact Expected

After China’s iron ore futures dropped on worries over local Omicron cases, concerns have eased after more information has emerged. In Tianjin, northern China’s major steel market, no significant steel-market impact is expected as the city confirmed 21 positive cases. But market participants do not expect the cases to influence the country’s steel market during what is typically a slow period for demand.


US Imports for Consumption of Monitored Steel
  October '21/YTD October '20/YTD
Country Quantity in MT* Variation*
Canada 636,977 +78.70%
Mexico 379,541 +70.58%
Brazil 143,834 +79.47%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau 
* Metric tons

HRC Spot Price Mexico
Price * % Monthly % YTD % YOY
1,406 ** -2.02% -2.02% 32.26%

Source: Reporte Acero
* As of January 11th 2022
** U.S. dollars per metric ton

Exchange Rate: Mexican Peso
30 Day Average & Volatility
Currency 30 Day
30 Day
🇺🇸 1 USD 20.67 MXN 0.41%
🇪🇺 1 EUR 23.39 MXN 0.40%
🇨🇳 1 CNY 3.24 MXN 0.43%
🇯🇵 1 JPY 0.18 MXN 0.41%
🇬🇧 1 GBP 27.70 MXN 0.42%


Luis Barragán, Mexico’s Master Modernist Architect

Most would consider it impossible to reflect on Mexican Modernism and not acknowledge that Luis Barragán is certainly one of the country’s most important figures. His use of straight lines, strong walls, and bright color are unique to Mexico’s visual landscape. As the country’s most recognized architect, he did much to create an architectural identity for both the nation and its people. Others have presented his influence in their work from the 80’s onward, but his actual projects have that certain feel that is unique. His work is very special and very Mexico.
Born in Guadalajara in 1902, he had a career filled with appreciation and praise until his death in Mexico City in 1986. His home and studio today are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and both are open to the public, receiving visitors from around the world. Perhaps his highest honor was in 1980 upon winning the Pritzker Architectural Prize, the greatest award in architecture.

Luis Barragán cemented Mexico’s visual identity in the 70’s and 80’s in a timeless way which will surely be projected forwarded for generations to come. He remains one of the county’s most important artistic figures with his work being applauded both internationally and at home.

Download print size: English and Spanish


Mexican Modernism in Paris: Luteca Opens First European Showroom

Further exporting Mexican Modernism abroad, Luteca opens its first European showroom, in Paris’ 2nd arrondissement. Specializing in contemporary Mexican design, with a portfolio including reissues of 20th century modernist furniture from leading Latin American design masters, as well as new designs inspired by the cultural and aesthetic legacy of Mexico and Latin America. This is the third showroom for the brand, with a fourth space in LA set to join the Mexico City and New York showrooms later in 2022.

Steel in the World

Tokyo Tower, 1958

Constructed of steel, a third of which is scrap metal from US Army tanks damaged in the Korean War, Tokyo Tower was completed in 1958 and was at the time the tallest tower in the world. It was built after the needs of Japan’s national broadcaster, NHK, required a coverage area large enough to encompass the entire country. And at 333 meters (1,029 feet), it did just that. The tower remains as an active broadcasting facility used by a number of television and radio networks, and is today the 2nd tallest structure in Japan after Tokyo Skytree was completed in 2010 as a supplement digital broadcasting tower.

Found in the Minato-ku ward of the city, the bold orange and white stripes of the tower continue to have a modernist charm which are reminiscent of Japan’s postwar ascendancy onto the global stage. The structure was additionally meant to serve as a statement to Japan’s economic power, and took an overall look inspired by the lattice design of the Eiffel tower which was completed some 69 years earlier. The Japanese work however is 9 meters (approximately 29 feet) taller than the French, then taking the title as tallest tower in the world.

Tokyo Tower today is a landmark structure which symbolizes Japan’s development as a world power during the mid-1900’s. It has become part of Tokyo’s cultural DNA, and is recognized from around the world by its strong presence and unique look.

Now Hiring

Port Operations Manager – Monterrey, Mexico

Currently seeking candidates with shipping experience, specifically port operations. Manager would supervise vessel discharge along the Pacific and Gulf coasts of Mexico, and possibly the United States and abroad (Asia & Latin America). Must have the ability and knowledge to skillfully negotiate with stevedores, truck lines, warehousers, and shipping companies. Customs knowledge preferred. Must communicate and present oneself professionally including email and documentation exchange. Spanish, English, and industry contacts required. Preferably based out of Monterrey, Mexico but open to other scenarios. Travel within Mexico, the United States, and possibly abroad (Asia & Latin America). Passport required. International applicants welcomed.
Customer Service Representative/Account Manager – Monterrey, Mexico

Currently seeking candidates with customer service and account management experience. New hire would be assigned key accounts to manage shipping and port related matters, control inventories, and attend to clients. Must understand port operations, warehousing, and trucking within Mexico. Customs knowledge preferred. Spanish and English required. Industry contacts preferred. Based out of Monterrey, Mexico. Travel within Mexico and United States. Passport required. International applicants welcomed.
Audaxia Logística
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Audaxia Monterrey
Torre KOI
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México, CP 68269
+52 818 363 4919

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