Global steel demand continues to grow in slowing economic environment:World Steel Association

BRUSSELS, 18th April, 2019 (WAM) -- Global steel demand is projected to reach 1,735 Mt in 2019, an increase of 1.3% over 2018. In 2020, demand is projected to grow by 1.0% to reach 1,752 Mt, according to the April 2019 Short Range Outlook,SRO, released by the World Steel Association,worldsteel.

Commenting on the outlook, Saeed Al Remeithi, Chairman of the worldsteel Economics Committee, said, "In 2019 and 2020, global steel demand is expected to continue to grow, but growth rates will moderate in tandem with a slowing global economy. Uncertainty over the trade environment and volatility in the financial markets have not yet subsided and could pose downside risks to this forecast."

In 2018, global steel demand increased by 2.1% (after adjusting for China induction furnace closures – see note in October 2018 Short Range Outlook), growing slightly slower than in 2017. In 2019 and 2020 growth is still expected, but in a less favourable economic environment. China’s deceleration, a slowing global economy, and uncertainty surrounding trade policies and the political situation in many regions suggest a possible moderation in business confidence and investment.

For MENA, economic diversification efforts in the GCC continue in reaction to a low oil price environment but fiscal consolidation is still suppressing construction activities. Steel demand is expected to continue to contract by 2.6% to 48.9 Mt in 2019, with a minor recovery of 1.2% or 49.5 Mt expected to be in 2020.

World Steel Association is the international trade body for the iron and steel industry. The association represents over 160 steel producers, national and regional steel industry associations and steel research institutes.

WAM/Tariq alfaham/Hassan Bashir