Automotive demand to recover strongly in 2021: worldsteel

The automotive sector saw the most profound demand decline among steel-using sectors in 2020, with a nosedive in the second quarter. However, it is expected to recover strongly in 2021, worldsteel says in its April short-range outlook (SRO).

“The recovery will be driven by pent-up demand, increased use of personal transportation due to safety concerns, and increased household cash savings,” worldsteel says. “The recovery is expected to be particularly strong in the US, where the production level in 2021 will exceed the 2019 level and the global automotive industry is expected to recover in 2022.”

“Despite a faster-than-expected recovery in demand, the sector is encountering another supply chain bottleneck in early 2021 with a shortage of semiconductors and other parts, which could constrain the recovery potential,” worldsteel director general Edwin Basson saidduring Thursday’s SRO presentation attended by Kallanish.

Amid the crisis, 2020 saw a substantial increase in the share of hybrid and fully electric cars sales in the EU, by 11.9% and 10.5% respectively, up from 5.7% and 3% growth in 2019.

Global construction output in 2020 fell by more than in 2009, when it was hit by the global financial crisis, by 3.9% and 1.9% respectively, worldsteel says.

Across countries, the most severe decline in construction was observed in the Philippines, India and Mexico. In China, the construction sector returned to normal operation at the end of April and has been showing a fast recovery since.

“However, infrastructure projects have become important and are sometimes the only tool in many countries for economic recovery and they will continue to be a strong driver in emerging economies,” the association observes.

In developed economies, green recovery programmes and infrastructure renewal will drive construction demand, which is expected to reach 2019 levels again in 2022.

Svetoslav Abrossimov Bulgaria