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

Editorial

Kenton SchaeferFor Audaxia Logística

Welcome to OJO. It’s official, Mexico is going to the moon! In a recent announcement made by the Mexican Foreign Ministry and UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México), it was confirmed that Mexico's first lunar exploration mission launches this June. More on that below, but it is a significant milestone event for the Latin-American nation and southern neighbor to the United States. And in the spirit of new frontiers, we would like to announce the addition of 2 new sections to this newsletter which accompany the steel and shipping backbone of this publication. One is called 'After You', where we showcase some of Mexico's most beautiful and unique points-of-interest such as hotels, restaurants, museums, and other special places. The other is called 'This Month in Mexican History', where we feature interesting events in Mexico's past. This month's summary is probably one of the most impactful milestones in Mexico's existence, the Spanish Conquest. It was this month in 1519 that Hernan Cortes first landed in Veracruz, and changed Mexico forever.

These additions to OJO mean to further enrich our international clients' business experience in Mexico by offering information about its culture. And as Americans with several decades of experience working in Mexico's shipping industry, we are in a unique position to offer that. We truly hope that you'll enjoy reading, and ultimately experiencing, some of these special places and events we highlight. Bienvenidos a OJO.

Kenton Schaefer
Schaefer Stevedoring
Business Development 
& Marketing


For Audaxia Logística
A Schaefer Americas company

Email me directly.

This Month's Highlights


Mexico
 
Mexico Goes to the Moon!

Mexico will launch 5 small robots onto the surface of the moon this summer. These historymaking devices are already installed on the Peregrine spacecraft by US company Astrobotic, and are ready to travel the 384,400 kilometers to the moon. They are expected to launch in June of this year.
 
Why Mexico is Ideally Positioned to Become a Zero-Carbon Shipping Fuels Hub

Mexico's proximity to important trading partners on the North American coastline along both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans eases access to Asian, European and African markets. This could position the country as a leading supplier for vessels that visit its ports, as well as a leading exporter of clean fuels.
 
Mexican Car Sales Fall by 3.7% in January

In January, the generalized increase in prices and economic uncertainty caused new car sales in Mexico to start 2022 with negative numbers, adding to the complex panorama faced by the industry.
 
Semiconductor Chip Supply to Normalize in 2022, says Mexico's Auto Industry

A global semiconductor shortage that has weighed on Mexico's auto sector should normalize throughout the year and chip supply should reach pre-pandemic levels in the second half of 2022, the Mexican Automotive Industry Association (AMIA) said.
 
Mexican Trucking Protest Sure to Affect Transport March 22nd

Truckers and trucking companies across Mexico will protest against corruption and insecurity by blocking highways across the country on March 22nd. And with a truck driver being assaulted every 5.2 hours on Mexican roads, it will hopefully have positive benefits for all.
 
Mexico Central Bank Hikes Key Rate, Still Hawkish Under New Leadership

Mexico's central bank on Thursday raised its benchmark interest rate as expected by 50 basis points to 6.00%, a sixth straight rate increase, as policymakers sought to keep price pressures in check with inflation running high.
 
Mexico Economy Minister Sees 2022 Growth Slowing to 2.5%

Mexican Economy Minister Tatiana Clouthier said on Monday the country's economy was likely to grow only about 2.5% this year after being hit by the Omicron wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
 
Mexico Container Ports Record Highest Volume Ever in 2021

Mexico's container ports had their busiest year ever in 2021, handling 7.85 million twenty-foot equivalent units across the country for an increase of 21.6% over 2020, according to statistics from Mexico's Secretariat of Communications and Transportation.
 
Steel Dynamics Acquires Minority Interest (45%) in New Process Steel

Steel producer Steel Dynamics Inc., Fort Wayne, Ind., has completed the acquisition of a minority equity interest in New Process Steel L.P., a metals distribution supply-chain management company based in Houston (with an office in Monterrey, Mexico).
 
Ternium Says to Invest $1 Billion in Mexico Expansion

Steel producer Ternium plans to spend around $1 billion on expanding its plant in northern Mexico, a top executive said during a call to discuss fourth-quarter results.
 

Analytics

US Imports for Consumption of Monitored Steel
  December '21/YTD December '20/YTD
Country Quantity in MT* Variation*
Canada 452,506 +17.86%
Mexico 421,429 +140.49%
Brazil 211,308 +1,061.35%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau 
* Metric tons

HRC Spot Price Mexico
Price * % Monthly % YTD
$ 1,145 ** -1.72% -20.71%


Source: Reporte Acero
* As of February 14th 2022
** U.S. dollars per metric ton

Exchange Rate: Mexican Peso
30 Day Average & Volatility
 
Currency 30 Day
Average
30 Day
Volatility
🇺🇸 1 USD 20.55 MXN 0.35%
🇪🇺 1 EUR 23.31 MXN 0.39%
🇨🇳 1 CNY 3.23 MXN 0.37%
🇯🇵 1 JPY 0.17 MXN 0.38%
🇬🇧 1 GBP 27.84 MXN 0.32%

Culture


Sebastian and his Massive Presence  
Enrique González, more commonly known as Sebastian - a pseudonym he took on from a Bottecelli painting he once saw as a younger man - is considered one of the preeminent steel artists for large government projects throughout Mexico.

As the Schaefer group originated in South Texas, we are especially familiar with "la Gran Puerta de México (The Grand Doorway to Mexico) in Matamoros, Tamaulipas. Located in Olympic Park, and just across the river from Brownsville, Texas, Sebastian built a letter "M" which stands for both Matamoros and Mexico. It is a very recognizable structure which many Matamorenses consider to be an integral part of their grand city.

Sebastian's massive works are also extremely well known all over Mexico, and even the world. Some of his most famous projects include the image above which is of "Cabeza de Caballo (Horse Head), better known as 'El Caballito" (Little Horse), a 92ft tall yellow conceptual steel sculpture located in Mexico City. Outside of Mexico, his monumental steel sculptures can be found in Argentina, Cuba, Uruguay, Brazil, Japan, and the United States.

Sebastian was elected a member of the Academy of Arts in The Hague in 1983, and has been exhibited in some of the most important art museums across the globe. Those museums include: the Museum of Modern Art, Palacio de las Bellas Artes, Tamayo Museum, Museum of Science and Arts of the UNAM, Palacio de Minería, and the Museum of San Ildefonso

 

Mexico, Through the Eyes of Graciela Iturbide
Graciela Iturbide Captures Danielle Ellsworth for Elle Magazine 2017
The photographer, whose black-and-white images are going on show at Paris’ Fondation Cartier, breaks down her home country.

Steel in the World


Sydney Harbour Bridge, 1932
As one of the most recognizable steel structures in the world, Sydney Harbour Bridge is both functional and beautiful. It is the largest steel arch bridge on Earth and runs over one of the planet's finest natural harbors. The iconic landmark took eight years to build and was completed in 1932 by British firm Dorman Long. It is made of 53,000 tons of steel, with the arch's alone weighing 39,000 tons. About 79% of all the steel used was imported from England, specifically the pre-formed arch's - with the rest being sourced from Newcastle, NSW Australia. Over 6 million steel rivets were made in Melbourne, and hand-driven into the bridge in Sydney. At the time, riveting was more widely used over welding for large steel structures. Most of the steel might have been imported, but it was the Australian made components and labor which held it all in place. Locally named the Coathanger, Sydney Harbour Bridge was added to the Australian National Heritage List on March 19th, 2007.

After You


Hotel Terrestre, Puerto Escondido
This hotel has come to our attention from several people and contacts of ours from all over the world. It's architecturally stunning and environmentally conscious. Grupo Habita, one of Mexico's most interesting hotel groups, is really putting together an incredible collection of unique places to experience. Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca is a special port and resort town with many areas that are still off-grid. And this hotel is certainly harnessing that into a structural gem and vacation wonder.
 

This Month in Mexican History


Hernan Cortes' Arrival to the New World, February 1519
Few events in history have had such a profound impact to a culture like the Spanish Conquistador's arrival to Aztec Mexico. This deeply stunning event led to what we see today as modern Mexico. In February 1519, Hernan Cortes arrived with his band of Conquistadors after having narrowly escaped capture by also Spaniard and then Governor of Cuba, Diego Vasquez. They landed in what is today the city of Veracruz and ultimately made their way to Tenochitlán (Mexico City), then the Aztec capital and ruling power. The result has had endless repercussions to what it means to be Mexican. Repercussions difficult to outline in such a brief text, but we would like to recognize that those events happened 503 years ago this month.
Audaxia Logística
 
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