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India unlikely to mirror China’s explosive steel use growth

Asia – While India’s steel demand has ‘big potential’ considering its huge population and still low-level of infrastructure and housing development, it is not expected that the country will replicate China’s explosive growth pattern, according to Adam Szewczyk, head of economic and statistical analysis at the World Steel Association.

India’s steel demand has been growing on a par with GDP, with the latter climbing on average at 7.34% in the period from 2001 to 2016 and steel use at 7.43%.

And in the past couple of years, India’s steel demand has not been performing particularly well, partly due to the impact of major reforms such as demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST), and partly to sluggish private investment, Szewczyk observes.

India is more service-oriented and inward-looking, more environmentally conscious with a stronger focus on equity, and less controlled by a strong central government, according to Szewczyk.

Therefore, he concludes, India is ‘likely to show an S-curve (the relationship between per capita income and per capita steel use) which will be less steep than that of China’, adding that it might take longer for India’s steel demand to peak compared to China.

Steel demand in China increased dramatically after the year 2000 but then peaked in 2013, it is pointed out.


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