Global – Global apparent steel use will increase by 3.6% to 1.422 billion tonnes this year and a further 4.5% to around 1.486 billion tonnes in 2013, the World Steel Association (WSA) has predicted in its latest short-term outlook.
‘Signs of stability are now emerging and we expect the recovery to resume in the second half of this year, leading to a higher growth forecast for 2013,’ states its Economics Committee Chairman Hans Juergen Kerkhoff.
‘Although the global impact of the Euro-zone debt crisis has been limited so far, uncertainties continue to exist and this remains the key downside risk to our current outlook. High oil prices and geopolitical tensions in the oil-producing regions are also important downside risk factors.’ The possibility of a ‘hard landing’ for the Chinese economy ‘cannot be ignored’ although, at this point, the WSA ‘does not attach high probability to this’.
China’s apparent steel use is expected to increase by 4% in both 2012 and 2013 to yield a total of 674.8 million tonnes – some 61% higher than the 2007 level. The USA, meanwhile, is forecast to see demand growth of 5.7% in 2012 and of 5.6% in 2013, resulting in a figure of 99.5 million tonnes or 92% of the 2007 level.
But in the EU, apparent steel use is expected to dip 1.2% to 150.9 million tonnes this year before gaining 3.3% to 155.8 million tonnes in 2013 – equivalent to only 79% of the 2007 level, notes the WSA. Japan’s steel use is also expected to decline – by 0.6% to 63.7 million tonnes in 2012 and by a further 2.2% to 62.3 million tonnes next year.
A fuller review of the WSA’s projections will appear in the May issue of Recycling International.