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Slower growth in worldwide demand for steel forecasted

The global use of steel is expected to rise more slowly this year with the key Chinese market also cutting back, according to the World Steel Association (WSA).

The WSA’s short range outlook indicates a worldwide increase in use of 3.1% to 1,527Mt in 2014 after recording 3.6% growth in 2013. The world steel demand is forecast to surge further by 3.3% in 2015 to reach 1,576Mt.

But Chinese steel demand is likely to further decelerate to 3% to 721.2Mt in 2014 and to 2.7% in 2015 as the government’s attempts to rebalance the economy continues to limit investment activities.

In the EU, steel use is expected to grow at a rate of 3.1% in 2014 and 3% in 2015.

The WSA paints a mixed picture elsewhere. In India, there is a projected increase of 3.3% in 2014 to 76.2Mt on an improved outlook for the manufacturing and construction sectors. In 2015 the demand for steel is expected to edge up by 4.5%, backed by the hope that structural reforms will be implemented.

Japanese steel demand in 2014 is likely to shrink by 1% owing to the negative impact of the consumption tax hike in the construction and automotive sectors. The demand for steel in the country is anticipated to go up by 0.5% in 2015.

Steel use in 2014 and 2015 in the US is expected to go up by 4% and 3.7% respectively. In Mexico, the steel demand in 2014 is likely to rise by 3.4%. In 2015, it will leap by 3.9%.

In the CIS, apparent steel use is expected to increase by only 1.1% in 2014 owing to slow investment. However, it is set to be 3.7% higher in 2015 as steel demand in Russia is likely to accelerate to 4.4% rise.

In 2014, steel demand in the Middle East and North Africa region is estimated to surge by 6.1%, while the region is expected to see 9.4% growth in 2015.

The projected rise in the apparent steel use in Central and South America is 3.4% in 2014 and will further slow to 2.7% in 2015.

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