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OJO  \ o-ho \
An Eye on Mexico
Audaxia Newsletter
September 2021

Editorial

Kenton SchaeferFor Audaxia Logística
Welcome everyone to the first edition of OJO, Audaxia’s English language, monthly newsletter which will cover Mexico’s top steel and general cargo issues which we believe will be of interest to the international executive doing business in the Latin American country.

In addition to traditional steel and shipping news related to Mexico, we will highlight an often overlooked segment of the country, its culture. Some of you may already be familiar with Audaxia Cultura, our creative endeavor which promotes Mexican art and history through a series of posters we feature throughout the year. Well this newsletter is an extension of that effort. OJO, (pronounced o-ho), means eye in Spanish and is also used as an expression to call attention to a particular thing. We chose that name to represent our keeping an industry focus on Mexico while presenting a creative angle to its culture. All from this newsletter, and from this viewpoint. OJO will showcase a Mexico seldom considered in our industry. Yes we’re familiar with the ports, steel towns, and service centers. But what about those subtle undercurrents which undetectably contribute to the entire business experience? The people, cuisine, and lifestyle. The architecture, museums, and concert halls. The hotels, restaurants, and bars. Tequila anyone? Where? Is it safe?

As an American doing business in Mexico for over 20 years, I know how easy it can be to overlook such things when pressingly traveling in and out of the country. But thanks in part to my parents raising us between South Texas and Northern Mexico, along with the several years I lived in Mexico City laying the groundwork for this very company, I learned how to enhance my entire professional experience by paying attention to the pulse of the region. By going to cultural events and visiting historically important sites. By learning the language and more sincerely engaging with its people. There is a powerful beauty in Mexico. And we wish to promote that beauty to the international business community exploring opportunities in the country. As far as we know, there isn’t another newsletter which focuses on Mexico by combining steel, general cargo, and shipping with culture, art, and history. Dare I say, the approach is avant-garde. Much like the core philosophy behind our company, Audaxia.

Latin for audacious, Audaxia further means to show courage and determination while possessing a willingness to take surprisingly bold risks. That attitude is how we form our approach to doing business in Mexico. We’ve taken these risks in the traditional sectors where our company operates today such as; stevedoring, warehousing, trucking, and logistics. But we’ve also taken them in non-traditional ones such as; cultural promotion, animal protection, and child welfare. As mentioned, Audaxia Cultura promotes Mexican art and history, but additionally Audaxia Wild contributes financially to anti-poaching efforts made in Zimbabwe, Africa, while Audaxia Humanity works with underprivileged children in San Luis Potosi.

Indeed, even our corporate color influenced by the works of French artist Yves Klein is part of our bold approach. Patented in Paris in 1960, International Klein Blue profoundly influenced modern art and we’re most proud to consider it the origin of our visual identity. Furthermore, geometry and Greek philosophy where considered in the design of our corporate symbol. Using only two circles and two squares to create a simple yet sophisticated representation of our greater intention. This only partially illustrates the sense of adventure we incorporate into our business model. And how it’s wrapped in a bold spirit which serves as inspiration to produce our very best work in smart fashion lead by strong character. All with the end of bettering the general cargo shipping experience in Mexico for ourselves as well as for those we do business with.

OJO will curate relevant information from all over the country about a wide range of issues in Mexico; steel, general cargo, shipping, art, culture, and history. Our list of collaborators includes Investigative Journalist Juan Zertuche, Design Correspondent David Quiroga, Audaxia Cultural Attaché Fernando Moreno, Audaxia Director General Arturo Rodríguez, myself, as well as others from both inside and out of our organization.

It is our sincere wish that you find this publication interesting and that it enhances your professional and personal experiences in Mexico. So without further ado, bienvenidos a OJO.
Kenton Schaefer
Schaefer Stevedoring
Business Development 
& Marketing


For Audaxia Logística
A Schaefer Americas company

Please send us any thoughts, comments, or suggestions here.

This Month’s Highlights

Mexico
 
Below you’ll find a collection of news related materials such as; articles, op-eds, and podcasts which are related to all things Mexico, steel and logistics.
 
Finally: Growth in Public Investment

The Mexican government will boost public sector investment by 17.7% in 2022, the most significant increase since 2008. Enrique Quintana, one of the most read analysts in the national press, welcomes these numbers as a “positive surprise” to the 2022 Economic Package sent to Congress.
 
First Came A Quake In Mexico, Then Strange Blue Lights. People Feared The Apocalypse

As if going through an earthquake in Mexico City weren’t enough, imagine getting outside to where you think it’s safer and suddenly you notice everyone peering up at the night’s sky while recording the most eerie dance of natural blue lights you’ve ever seen in your life. Well, there's a reason and scientific explanation for that. 
 
Why Mexico Is Suing U.S. Gunmakers

An in-depth analysis of one of the most bizarre legal actions the Mexican government has ever embarked on against a US industry. This podcast offers a wider picture to understanding the arguments mounted by the plaintiff in what seems quite a long shot. 
 
COFECE Fears that Merchandise Mobility Might Collapse

COFOCE is the state agency responsible for promoting trade in Guanajuato, a most important industrial enclave in central Mexico. The organization is conducting a study to determine the severity of the impact triggered by the country’s congested ports, and specifically its effect on the Automotive Cluster in the region.
 
International
 
This section offers information from a global perspective on matters related to shipping and logistics which may impact supply chain realities abroad, as well as in Mexico.
 
U.S. Ports See Shipping Logjams Likely Extending Far Into 2022

Brace yourself: Major U.S. port leaders predict shipping logjams will continue throughout most of 2022. Not even the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year, with its manufacturing shutdown programmed from January 31st to February 6th, will ease US ports from congestion. 
 
Why Trump’s steel tariffs are now Biden’s political headache

President Joe Biden has “sought to dismantle many of his predecessor's policies”, but there are some that remain untouched: for instance, tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. This in-depth analysis explains the reasoning behind a decision that seems contradictory.
Forget Finance. Supply-Chain Management Is the Pandemic Era’s Must-Have MBA Degree

“For years, we had sort of taken logistics for granted”. That quote surely will enrage anyone involved in the industry. But while the pandemic is hitting hard on supply chains, and congested ports are giving us the headache of our lifetime, here’s to the hottest MBA in town.
Green Steel Is A Crucial Part Of Our Renewable Future

The steel industry also faces new challenges to be in tune with sustainable goals for a better future. This article explores some of the pioneering companies that are reducing its carbon emissions, some of them even aiming to bring fossil-free steel to the market by 2026. 

Analytics

The information below summarizes steel import figures into the United States, includes an HRC spot price index average for Mexico, and lists currency exchange rate figures.
 
US Imports for Consumption of Monitored Steel
  June '21/YTD June '20/YTD
Country Quantity in MT* Variation*
Canada 2,895,248 +38.92%
Mexico 1,587,726 +20.55%
Brazil 2,243,248 +0.25%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau 
* Metric tons

HRC Spot Price Mexico
Price per MT * % Monthly % YTD
1,930 ** -0.77% 92.04%


Source: Reporte Acero
* As of September 14th 2021
** U.S. dollars per metric ton

Exchange Rate
30 Day Average
🇺🇸  1 USD = 20.08 MXN
🇪🇺  1 EUR = 23.65 MXN
🇨🇳  1 CNY = 3.10 MXN
🇯🇵  1 JPY = 0.18 MXN
🇬🇧  1 GBP = 27.67 MXN

Culture

This section is of particular interest to all of us at Audaxia. It is where we have the opportunity to present the international business community with some of the country’s dearest treasures. Mexican culture has always been alive, vibrant and spirited, and we wish to show that intensity here. The powerful works of Frida Khalo, the culinary magic of Oaxaca, the nation’s architectural uniqueness, music, film, and much more.
 

Tamayo, the Late Steel Sculptor

Rufino Tamayo (1899–1991) is considered one of the most prolific and venerated Mexican artists of the last century. 

Although he is best known for his paintings and prints which were remarkable combinations of European styles and Mexican folk motifs, Tamayo dedicated his last years to exploring sculpture. 

As we celebrate one of Mexico’s most patriotic months, for our first newsletter we thought it would be a great opportunity to profile Tamayo’s late work on sculpture, particularly some of his most iconic pieces made of steel—two of which are located in Monterrey.


Tamayo entered the last decade of his life as one of the most renowned and celebrated painters in Latin America. In 1979, when the artist was about to turn 80, the National University of Mexico (UNAM) awarded him an Honoris Causa.

A year later, as a gesture of his gratitude to Mexico’s most prestigious university, he donated La Espiga, a monumental carbon steel sculpture almost 50 feet tall and considered the “emblem and irreplaceable guardian of the University Cultural Center”. In that same year, an even taller steel sculpture by Tamayo was inaugurated in Monterrey. Homenaje al Sol (Homage to the Sun), which represents the areas early indigenous people’s that worshiped the sun, weighs 30 tons and measures 82 feet tall. The grand structure welcomes pedestrians to the Macroplaza which is a large public space in the city’s downtown district.
Homenaje al Sol (Homage to the Sun) Steel Sculpture by Rufino Tamayo.
Adding to his list of large metal works in Monterrey: El Hombre (The Man), a 7-1/2 foot tall representation of “Man as the origin, center and end of culture” is displayed in the lobby of one of the most iconic buildings at UDEM, a renowned local private college. Other small sized steel works, such as Sandías (1989), Astonished Man (1990), Hombre Rojo (1990) or Figura Sideral (1990), entered the high-art auction circuit and have made their way around the world.

Rufino Tamayo spent the rest of the decade exploring steel as a moldable material in his sculptures, until his death in 1991. Although it's a lesser known chapter of his prestigious career, Tamayo's steel sculptures are an important part of the great Mexican artist’s legacy.

16 de Septiembre

September is an especially patriotic month in Mexico. Every 15th of the month, the current Mexican President ceremoniously performs the “Grito de Dolores” which marks the beginning of a 2 day independence celebration that ends with a military parade the following day. And considering this newsletter’s focus is Mexico, it gives us great pride that our first issue coincides with Mexican Independence Day. The poster below (and page version) is our graphic summary of some of the most important points having to do with the independence. The blue version is in full poster size, 70cm x 100cm and can be framed and mounted. The page version is meant to be printed from any standard US letter size printer for leisurely reading.
Spanish version here
Audaxia Logística
 
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