Mubasher: The World Steel Association (worldsteel) expected that growth of global steel demand will ease in 2019 and 2020 against the backdrop of a slowing economy and market volatility.
Global steel demand is projected to reach 1.735 billion tonnes this year, a 1.3% growth from last year, while the demand growth will come at 0.9% to 1.752 billion tonnes in the next year, worldsteel said in its short range outlook (SRO) report.
Along with the slowing global economy, “uncertainty over the trade environment and volatility in the financial markets has not yet subsided and could pose downside risks to this forecast,” worldsteel economic committee chairman Saeed Ghumran Al Remeithi said.
Last year, world steel demand rose 2.1%, “after adjusting for China’s induction furnace closures, growing slightly slower than in 2017,” worldsteel economic committee chairman Saeed Ghumran Al Remeithi said.
For China, which consumes about half the world’s steel, demand growth continued to lose momentum, with investment inflows slowing down and sluggish factory activity owing to trade disputes and economic rebalancing efforts, worldsteel said.
In developed economies steel demand grew by 1.8% last year, after a robust growth of 3.1% in 2017.
For this year and next, demand would further lose momentum to 0.3% and 0.7%, owing to the deteriorating trade environment.
The US growth pattern will slow down with the fading fiscal stimulus and monetary policy normalisation, while both construction and manufacturing output growth will decelerate, the industry group said, dismissing prospects of upturn in infrastructure spending.
Steel demand in the emerging economies, excluding China, will rise by 2.9% and 4.6% in 2019 and 2020, respectively, while developing Asian economies, without the world’s second biggest economy, will see demand growing by 6.5% this year and 6.4% in the next.