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

Editorial

Kenton SchaeferFor Audaxia Logística

Welcome to OJO. And thank you for joining us again. This month, our continued coverage of industry and cultural news sees some important activity in Mexico. But first, we would like to mention that our 12-month focus on steel and the shipping industry is ending this month. It’s been wonderful to be a part of such an endeavor, and we look forward to seeing how OJO will continue to develop, but for now we are going to be taking a few months to discuss our new format while identifying where we can add value through our newsletter. We appreciate your being a part of this journey with us, and we hope you’ve found it enjoyable and insightful. We’ll be back in your inboxes soon.

And now, the news. We’ve found significant investments in the production of Electric Vehicle components, mostly in the northern regions (which we’re pleased to see considering the tremendous impacts of climate change around the world). The automotive manufacturing sector in Mexico continues to be among the worlds most important, showing real signs of adaptation to the overall changes in vehicle design and propulsion. And in other climate-related news, we continue to see significant ramifications related to AMLO’s energy policies, with Pemex needing even more money (specifically another $6.5 Billion USD for the Dos Bocas refinery, shortly after the President was there boasting about the operation just last month). Economically, there are some signs of general economic growth (an estimated 1%), even though inflation continues to be a heavy burden - as of course it is in most of the world. And burdening the economy further, the northern part of the country is experiencing incredibly severe droughts, adding to increased living costs and profoundly impacting manufacturing. We’re seeing similar effects along Germany’s Rhine river, wildfires in Spain and France, droughts in England, predictions of Mega- floods in California, and now certainly Mexico too is feeling real effects of a changing climate.

In cultural news, we again highlight an easily recognizable work of steel art by the American artist Jeff Koons, and our history report researches one of the Mexican opera worlds earliest and most impactful tragedies with the death of Angela Peralta in August 1883 in the Pacific port city of Mazatlan. Thank you again for joining us these past 12 months. It’s been our great pleasure to bring you this newsletter, and we look forward to returning soon. Bienvenidos a OJO.

Kenton Schaefer
Schaefer Stevedoring
For Audaxia Logística
A Schaefer Americas company

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This Month's Highlights

Mexico’s Pemex Requests $6.5 Billion USD More Funding for ‘Dos Bocas’ Refinery
Mexico’s state-oil company Pemex requested this week almost $6.5 Billion USD in additional funding from the government to pay for works at the ‘Dos Bocas’ refinery this year, according to a document and two sources familiar with the matter.
 
Posco to Build New Plant in Ramos Arizpe for Electric Vehicle Motors
The South Korean conglomerate announced the $123 Million USD venture is meant to help the nearby GM plant fully convert its manufacturing to Electric Vehicles by producing core components to the electric motor.
 
Quantas Computers to Invest $130 Million USD in Mexico, and Cease Production in Asia for Electric Motor Components
In further EV news, Quantas Computers will cease to produce in Shanghai and Taiwan, and will place all production in Mexico by expanding their existing plant in Nuevo Leon. The $130 Million USD investment was made because of Mexico’s strategic advantages over Asia for the production of critical components to electric motors.
 
Stellantis Considering Investing Billions in Mexico to Produce EVs
Stellantis NV may invest billions into renovating a Mexican plant to build hybrid and battery electric vehicles. In an emailed response to Bloomberg, Stellantis spokesperson, Shawn Morgan, said that the company regularly invests in all of its plants around the world.
 
AMLO Risks Long US-Mexico Trade Spat by Insisting on Energy Policy
US and Canadian companies have been clamoring for action against Mexico’s nationalist energy policies, but the trade complaint their countries filed could lead the North American region down a dangerous road. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, known as AMLO, has made strengthening Mexico’s state energy companies at the expense of private firms the hallmark of his administration, and there’s no sign he’ll give in enough to satisfy his neighbors.
 
AMLO risks long US-Mexico trade spat by insisting on energy policy
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, known as AMLO, has made strengthening Mexico’s state energy companies at the expense of private firms the hallmark of his administration, and there’s no sign he’ll give in enough to satisfy his neighbors. 
 
Mexican Economy Beats Forecasts, Grows for Third Straight Quarter
Mexico’s economy expanded 1% between April and June from the prior three month period, beating forecasts and marking the third consecutive quarter of growth, a preliminary estimate from national statistics agency INEGI showed on Friday.
 
Could Guanajuato be the Most Important Logistics Center in Mexico?
Kansas City Southern de México (KCSM) and the State of Guanajuato will soon announce the construction of a new railroad project that will certainly spark meaningful growth in the region thanks in large part to KCSM’s $195 Million USD investment. “The railroad beltway will help boost and strengthen competitiveness, making Celaya the most important Logistics Center for the Transfer of Goods in the country,” said Celaya’s Municipal President, Javier Mendoza Márquez. The work is scheduled to be completed in 2024.
 
Mexico Declares Drought in Northern State of Nuevo Leon Matter of National Security
Mexico declared the water shortage in the northern state of Nuevo Leon a matter of ”national security” on Friday as the region, home to Mexico’s industrial capital, has been crippled by a worsening drought in recent months.
 
Northern Mexico has a Historic Water Shortage
Water has become a sacred commodity in northern Mexico. Reservoirs have been hitting the bottom of their basins. Taps have been running dry for millions of people in the city of Monterrey, where the water shortage was called a matter of national security. Water bills have skyrocketed.
 
No More Beer Production in Northern Mexico, Drought Effects
Mexico, the world’s largest beer exporter, should stop producing beer in the north of the country as the region faces severe water shortages. Citizens in drought-plagued Monterrey, the country’s industrial heartland where beermakers like Heineken NV have facilities, have suffered from water scarcity for months as dams emptied out. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said the government will support companies that want to produce beer in the south or southeast.
 
Chinese Battery Production to go to Mexico
CATL (China Contemporary Amperex Technology), the largest manufacturer of batteries for electric vehicles in the world is considering 2 locations in Mexico to produce batteries for Tesla, and Ford Motor, according to Bloomberg and Automotive News.
 
A Smaller Version of the Cadillac Lyriq Will Be Built In Mexico
The Cadillac Lyriq is what happens when General Motors works at its highest capacity, putting premium materials together into a comfortable, competent highway cruiser. But the Lyriq starts at over sixty thousand dollars, and only climbs from there — far from an entry-level price. For a brand that wants to go all-in on EVs, it will need, and quickly, entry-level models. Enter Mexico.
 
TC Energy, Mexico’s CFE Agree to Develop $4.5 Billion USD Gas Pipeline, Suspend Arbitration
As a settlement of sorts, Canadian pipeline operator TC Energy and Mexican state utility Comision Federal de Electricidad agreed to develop a $4.5 billion pipeline, suspending international arbitration proceedings as they formalized a strategic alliance.
 

Analytics

US Imports for Consumption of Monitored Steel
  June '22/YTD June '21/YTD
Country Quantity in MT* Variation*
Canada 504,217 +15.71%
Mexico 412,226 +20.60%
Brazil 168,087 -39.64%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau 
* Metric tons

HRC Spot Price Mexico
Price * % Monthly % YTD
815* -4.68% -43.21%


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

Exchange Rate: Mexican Peso
30 Day Average & Volatility
 
Currency 30 Day
Average
30 Day
Volatility
🇺🇸 1 USD 20.52 MXN 0.67%
🇪🇺 1 EUR 20.85 MXN 0.57%
🇨🇳 1 CNY 3.04 MXN 0.64%
🇯🇵 1 JPY 0.15 MXN 0.78%
🇬🇧 1 GBP 24.68 MXN 0.55%

Steel in Art & Culture


Balloon Dogs // Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons is an American artist we’ve highlighted before. His Rabbit collection was featured in our April newsletter when we looked at steel and culture works in California. We mentioned then that those pieces had broken the record for the highest selling work by any living artist (over $90 Million USD in 2019). What is equally incredible is that he had held that same record before, with Balloon Dogs (selling for over $50 Million USD in 1986). His works are among some of the words most recognizable, and here we would like to showcase our favorite. Balloon Dogs is a collection of 5 stainless-steel dogs which appear as blown-up balloon animals. They are part of his Celebrations series which he started in 1993, and includes other animals and party-themed pieces such as Easter eggs, flowers, and toys.

Each of the 5 Balloon Dogs is around 10 feet tall, and weighs approximately 1 metric ton. The stainless-steel sculpture is given a translucent coat of colored paint which gives off a mirror- polished surface. Each one can be found in a different color, specifically in solids blue, yellow, red, orange, and magenta.

Koons continues to live and work in New York City where he produces other pieces heavily influenced by Pop Art and Surrealism. The effects of his favorite artists, known to be Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol are certainly visible. His work has had profound effects in the contemporary art world, and his impact has been felt around the world.

This Month in Mexican History

Angela Peralta, One of Mexico’s Most Iconic Opera Singers, Dies in Mazatlan on August 30th, 1883.

“The Mexican Nightingale” as she was affectionately called in Europe, was born in Mexico City on July 6th, 1845. Not only an accomplished Opera singer, Angela Peralta also composed and played the piano. During the 1860’s she was impressively active in Europe, performing in Rome, Milan, Florence, Bologna, Genoa, Naples, Lisbon, Madrid, and Barcelona. She began showing talent at age 8, studied at the Nacional de Música in Mexico City, and by age 15 made her operatic debut as Leonora in Giuseppe Verdi’s Il Trovatore at the Teatro Nacional in the country’s capital. During those important years in Europe, she was asked to return to Mexico by the country’s only foreign monarch, Maximilian I, who ruled Mexico when France invaded under Napoleon III. After the short rule by the French, she returned to Europe for a time but eventually went back to Mexico where she would open and tour with her own Opera company.

In 1883, while touring the Mexican north, she landed in Mazatlan by boat along with 79 other tour members to perform in the city Opera house. As her ship docked, greeters threw flowers while a band played the Mexican National Anthem. And the crowd was so enamored with her that once settled into her carriage, the people unhitched the horses and pulled the entire vehicle themselves all the way to the hotel. Once arrived, she went on to the balcony and very famously saluted them all. Tragically, a wave of Yellow-Fever struck the city, and 76 of the 80 tour members died, along with the forever-loved Mexican Nightingale, Angela Peralta. She died in Room 10, at the Hotel Iturbide on August 30th, 1883 at the age of 38. Her remains now lie in the Panteón in Mexico City, and the beautiful theatre in Mazatlan where she was to perform now bares her name, Teatro Angela Peralta.

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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