Global steel demand to grow in 2019-20: Worldsteel

The World Steel Association (worldsteel) estimates that global apparent steel demand will grow in both 2019 and 2020. The association announced this in its latest Short Range Outlook (SRO) on 14 October at its annual conference in Monterey, Mexico, attended by Kallanish. Apparent steel demand growth in China could reach 7.8% year-on-year, although the data has been impacted by the closure of unregistered induction furnaces.

Global apparent steel demand is expected to grow by 3.9% in 2019 to 1.775 billion tonnes. In 2020 worldsteel expects further growth of 1.7% to 1.806 billion tonnes. Global steel demand will continue to grow in 2019 more than expected mainly supported by China, says Saeed Al Remeithi chief executive of Emirates Steel, and head of worldsteel’s economic committee. In the rest of the world, demand has slowed this year due to uncertainty, trade tensions, and geopolitical issues weighed on investment and trade, he notes.

China has made important progress in 2019 supported by a growing construction sector, but this increase should slow down next year. The Chinese economy is set to slip both later this year and in 2020 as a result of unresolved trade frictions adding further pressure. China aims to close 2019 having grown its steel demand by 7.8% to some 900.1 million tonnes/year however, Remeithi says.

Of the other major regions, only Asia, CIS and Nafta are expected to see some growth in demand in 2019, but all regions will see their demand improve in 2020, the worldsteel` SRO data show.

In the European Union, steel demand is expected to fall by -1.2% in 2019 to 166.8 million tonnes, while in the rest of Europe this is set to reach 32.9mt or -12.2% down on-year. This fall has been driven by a deceleration of the automotive sector, particularly strong in Germany. Construction activity in Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Central European countries while still maintaining growth will decelerate due to weakening economic situation and constraints in construction capacity, Remeithi explains.

In the US meanwhile, the construction sector is expected to weaken in 2019 with no recovery expected next year.

The worldsteel expects automotive production to decelerate in 2019 with recession deepening in the main major markets, such as Germany, Turkey, China and South Korea.