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


Kenton SchaeferFor Audaxia Logística

Welcome to OJO. This month brings us news and events from different parts of the world which are related to steel and Mexico. You’ll read about continued economic hardship in the Mexican economy, relentless efforts by the president to nationalize oil and energy while propping up Pemex (one of the world’s most indebted oil companies), and see how yet again Mexico is making news in outer space. You’ll read about new Free Trade accords, automotive exports from Mexico to Brazil, and new manufacturing commitments by American companies in Mexico.

And as we enjoy doing, we’ll highlight several interesting pieces of steel art and look at an important event in Mexican history by revisiting the country’s one-time monarchy and the demise of one of their most well-known figures, Maximilian I, cousin to Napoleon III. It’s an event that immediately preceded another one of Mexico’s significant moments in history, The Porfiriato, the military dictatorship under General Porfirio Diaz who ruled Mexico for 31 years! Bienvenidos a OJO.

Kenton Schaefer
Schaefer Stevedoring
For Audaxia Logística
A Schaefer Americas company

Email me directly.

This Month's Highlights

John Deere to Move Cab Manufacturing From Iowa to Mexico
The company has confirmed it will be moving cab production from its Tractor and Cab Assembly Operations (TCAO) in Waterloo, Iowa, to Ramos Component Works in Mexico.
Faurecia to Invest $147 Million USD in Nuevo Leon
The French company Faurecia, part of Grupo Forvia, a leader in the production of automotive technology, announced an investment of US$147 million in the construction of its first shared plant in the country.
Mexico to Begin Negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement with the United Kingdom
Mexico and the United Kingdom will begin negotiations to agree on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries, informed the Mexican Ministry of Economy. As a consequence of Brexit, the United Kingdom lost the benefits of the global trade agreements negotiated by the European Union on behalf of its members.
Mexico and Ecuador on Track to a Free Trade Agreement
In Quito, the 9th round of negotiations for a free trade agreement between Mexico and Ecuador. Both nations seems apt to close the agreement soon.
WTech to Set Up Assembly Plant in Jalisco
Jalisco will once again become part of Mexico’s automotive industry with the installation of an assembly plant of the WTech company, which will invest $201 Million USD in the state.
GM San Luis Potosi to Export to Brazil
The General Motors plant in San Luis Potosí is building the 2022 Chevy Equinox SUV which will be exported exclusively to the Brazilian market, according to the US specialized media GM Authority.
Mexico’s Pemex Plans to Repay US $2 Billion to Suppliers by Offering New Debt
Pemex has outstanding debt of more than $100 billion, making it one of the world’s most indebted oil companies. The government has pursued a strategy of being energy “self-sufficient” that includes spending billions for Pemex to build an oil refinery in the president’s home state. The plan is unlikely to maximize profits for the state-owned company, analysts said, and crude oil production has continued to decline.
Mexico Turns Back the Clock on Oil Reforms, Closes Down Foreign Investment
The changes mean that Mexico can’t drill for as much oil, just as the world is seeking alternate sources to Russian oil because of the war in Ukraine. “He (AMLO) actually wants to roll back the reforms and go to an era in which the state controlled the whole sector,” said Mariana Campero, former CEO of the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations. Mexico doesn’t have the capacity to process all of its own crude oil. Which is one of the reasons Pemex bought out the Deer Park refinery. “Mexico is certainly not going to have the capital, and it’s not going to attract the capital to increase the production in oil,” said Payan.
Mexican Economy Likely Grew 0.4% in April vs March, Estimate Shows
Mexico’s economy likely grew by 0.4% in April versus March in seasonally adjusted terms, a preliminary estimate from national statistics agency INEGI showed on Thursday.
Mexican Central Banker: High Inflation is Not Leaving Anytime Soon
Mexico will likely see consumer price spikes for ”a while” and food inflation is a growing concern, according to the deputy governor of the country’s central bank.
Mexico Workers End Strike at ArcelorMittal Plant, Reach Agreement - Union
Workers at a Mexican plant of ArcelorMittal have called off a brief strike after reaching an agreement with the world's largest steelmaker over profit-sharing, the mining union said on Thursday.
Mexico Remains in the Top 10 of FDI Arrivals Worldwide
Mexico remained in the tenth position among the economies with the highest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows in 2021, according to an annual report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
Tesla is Considering Sites for New Factory in Canada and Mexico, Along With the US
Elon Musk says that Tesla’s factory might not necessarily be in the US as the automaker is also considering options in Canada and Mexico for a new North American plant.
U.S. Ironing Out Energy Sector Disputes with Mexico Worth $30 Billion - Ambassador
The United States and Mexico are working through disputes involving American companies in the Mexican energy sector worth more than an estimated $30 billion in investment, the U.S. ambassador to the country said on Wednesday.
Audi de Mexico to go Solar
The United States and Mexico are working through disputes involving American companies in the Mexican energy sector worth more than an estimated $30 billion in investment, the U.S. ambassador to the country said on Wednesday.


US Imports for Consumption of Monitored Steel
  April '22/YTD April '21/YTD
Country Quantity in MT* Variation*
Canada 491,028 +2.97%
Mexico 275,575 -10.92%
Brazil 188,041 -67.48%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau 
* Metric tons

HRC Spot Price Mexico
Price * % Monthly % YTD
1,155* -2.94% -19.51%

Source: Reporte Acero
* As of June 7th 2022
** U.S. dollars per metric ton

Exchange Rate: Mexican Peso
30 Day Average & Volatility
Currency 30 Day
30 Day
🇺🇸 1 USD 19.78 MXN 0.48%
🇪🇺 1 EUR 21.01 MXN 0.44%
🇨🇳 1 CNY 2.95 MXN 0.45%
🇯🇵 1 JPY 0.15 MXN 0.64%
🇬🇧 1 GBP 24.69 MXN 0.43%

Steel in Art & Culture

The Chicago Picasso

Spanish artist Pablo Picasso created the first public artwork for Downtown Chicago. Commissioned in 1963, the Daley Plaza piece was fabricated in Corten steel by the American Bridge Company out of Gary, Indiana. Initially, the abstract work created some controversy because it was not of any famous nor important person - as many wanted for the first downtown artwork. It was, and is, still unclear as to what exactly it’s meant to be. But dedicated in 1967, the Chicago Picasso now stands as a 50-foot tall, 162 metric ton symbol of the windy city. Picasso was initially offered $100,000 USD by the city to create the design, but turned it down wanting to gift it to the people of Chicago.

Steel Works

The Steel House, Lubbock, Texas
After some 30 years of working on one of the most recognizable works of art which doubles as a living space, Robert Bruno’s Steel House sits overlooking Lake Ransom Canyon, east of Lubbock, Texas. It sits watching. Built with approximately 100MT of Corten steel, the 2,250 square foot home was constructed in 3 levels virtually entirely by hand. Sadly, Mr. Bruno only got to live in the structure for several months as he died in 2008 after a prolonged battle with colon cancer at the age of 64.

The steel sculptor was born in Los Angeles, California in 1945, and grew up living between the United States and Mexico where he began making sculpture as a boy from an apartment in Mexico City. While living in Mexico with his mother and stepfather, he worked on sculpture and mural work impressed by Diego Rivera and Gabriel Orozco. He later studied and began working with steel at the Dominican College in Wisconsin, and went on to receive a master’s degree in sculpture from Notre Dame. Throughout his life he was deeply inspired by Spanish architect and artist Antoni Gaudí, and much like the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Bruno died before he could complete one of his greatest life’s passions, leaving the Steel House still unfinished.

Today, it appears the current owners plan on finishing the interior and turning the home into an Airbnb, much to the dismay of many. Time will tell. And because Corten steel forms a protective coat of rust when left out in the open (preventing further corrosion), the home will have plenty of time indeed. Jeff McMillan, a London-based architect said of Corten steel and the structure, “After the apocalypse, the Bruno house will steel be there.”.


This Month in Mexican History

The Emperor of Mexico is Executed, June 1867
At just past 6:30am, on the morning of the 19th of June in 1867, Emperor of Mexico Maximilian I, was executed by firing squad in Queretaro, Mexico. The only monarch Mexico ever had was dead. Killed by Republicans loyal to Benito Juarez. Napoleon III, Maximilian’s cousin, had pleaded for him to leave the country after having to withdraw French troops from Mexico which were then needed for ongoing wars with the Prussian army in Europe. But Maximilian refused to leave. He had been installed Emperor of Mexico by France after the French, Spanish, and British invaded Mexico in 1861 over debts unpaid by the young nation. Mexico was able to make agreements with the Spanish and the British, but not the French. So the French invaded hoping to create a Latin American monarchy which was loyal to France. And as the United States was occupied with its Civil War, it was unable to do much to keep them from taking over. Ultimately, the French mostly did take over and rule for several years, even though then President Benito Juarez maintained a form of on-the-run government which never gave in to the invading Europeans. When the American Civil War did finally end, the United States was able to help Juarez’s government. And combined with other events in Europe which forced the French to return their troops to that continent it weakened the imperialists sufficiently for Juarez’s Republicans to return to power, and execute the Monarch.
Audaxia Logística

OJO is a monthly newsletter combining top steel and shipping news impacting Mexico with relevant cultural interests. Created for the international community, OJO means to further enrich the businesspersons’ commercial experiences with the Latin-American nation.
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