Sustained recovery predicted for steel demand

5 October 2010

5 October 2010 | Angeline Albert

Global demand from steel buyers is forecast to rise dramatically by 13.1 per cent this year and grow by another 5.3 per cent in 2011.

A report published this week by the World Steel Association  (worldsteel), which represents 180 steel makers, said that global steel use would increase by 13.1 per cent in 2010 after contracting by 6.6 per cent in 2009.

The predictions follow a meeting of the worldsteel Economics Committee in Rio de Janeiro last month. Daniel Novegil, the committee’s chairman, said: “Our first forecast after the economic crisis in 2009 suggested 8.4 per cent growth in steel demand in 2010. We have now revised this figure up to 13.1 per cent.”

Novegil said the figure suggested “a steady and stable steel recovery”. He added: “Our current forecast does not foresee a double-dip recession as feared by some.”

The EU economies had a 35.7 per cent drop in steel use in 2009 with the UK, Spain and Italy particularly hard-hit as a result of the collapse of their construction sectors. The report said the recovery in the EU is turning out to be stronger than expected. In 2010, the EU will see a 18.9 per cent rise in demand for steel. The region’s steel demand is expected to grow by 5.7 per cent in 2011.

India will become the third largest steel-consuming country in the world after China and the US in 2011. Demand for steel in India is expected to grow by 8.2 per cent in 2010 and by 13.6 per cent the following year.

Steel consumption in the US fell by 36.2 per cent in 2009. Demand there is expected to grow by 32.9 per cent in 2010 and by 9.4 per cent in 2011.

Novegil said: “The recovery so far has been mainly driven by the inventory cycle and government stimulus packages, whose effects are now fading out. But whether consumer and corporate spending will now pick up, and continue the recovery momentum, has yet to be seen.”

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