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WSA predicts ‘restrained’ steel use growth

Global – This year, global apparent steel use will broadly replicate the small gain made in 2014, according to the latest short-range outlook from the World Steel Association (WSA). The projected increase of 0.5% to 1.544 billion tonnes will follow growth of 0.6% last year. As for 2016, it is forecast that world steel demand will climb by a more substantial 1.4% to 1.565 billion tonnes.

This ‘restrained’ growth outlook reflects ‘deceleration’ in China and the influence of major structural adjustments in most economies, according to the chairman of the WSA’s economics committee Hans Jürgen Kerkhoff. However, he also points to ‘some encouraging developments’, including increasingly positive news from developed economies and especially ‘signs of firming recovery momentum in the Eurozone’.

And Kerkhoff adds: ‘In the developing and emerging world, we see increased optimism about India and growth in steel use in some Middle East/North Africa and ASEAN countries. While these developments will not be enough to counterbalance the deceleration of China, we expect to see gradually improving growth prospects beyond 2016.’

In 2014, Chinese steel demand saw negative growth for the first time since 1995 and this situation ‘is likely to remain unchanged in the short term’, with the WSA predicting that the country’s steel use will record negative growth of 0.5% in both 2015 and 2016.  

More details of the WSA outlook will appear in the ferrous market section of Recycling International’s May issue.

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