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The end of steel’s ‘major growth cycle’

Global – Global finished steel product demand will be 1.7% lower this year at 1.513 billion tonnes, according to the latest forecasts from the World Steel Association (WSA). However, some of that lost ground will be regained in 2016 with the WSA predicting a world demand increase of 0.7% to 1.523 billion tonnes.

Steel has ‘reached the end of a major growth cycle which was based on the rapid economic development of China’, says the WSA. Following its peak in 2013, China’s steel demand is expected to slip 3.5% to 685.9 million tonnes in 2015 and a further 2% to 672.2 million tonnes in 2016.

For Asia and Oceania combined, the WSA expects finished steel product demand to drop below the 1 billion tonnes mark exceeded last year, falling 2.1% to 995.1 million tonnes in 2015 and a further 0.2% to 992.8 million tonnes next year.

The NAFTA region can expect demand to slip 2.7% this year to 140.8 million tonnes before climbing 2.1% next year to 143.7 million tonnes. Similarly in Central/South America, a fall of 7.3% in 2015 is expected to be partially offset by a 2% demand gain next year to 46.1 million tonnes.

Having recorded 5% growth last year, steel demand in the EU-28 is forecast to register further increases of 1.3% in 2015 and 2.2% in 2016 to give totals of, respectively, 149.8 million tonnes and 153.1 million tonnes. For Africa, the WSA expects demand gains of 5.1% this year and 6.2% in 2016 while projected Middle East growth rates for the same years are, respectively, 4% and 4.3%.

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