Sunday's Financial Times asks the question: "Has the age of 'peak steel' – in which world steel annual output and demand reaches a plateau at about its current level of 1.5bn-1.6bn tonnes – finally arrived?
The paper finds a number of analysts who say yes:
Rod Beddows, chief executive of Hatch Corporate Finance, says this are worst in Europe: “A lot of companies are floundering and not sure about how to alleviate the problems linked to overcapacity. New thinking is required but seems absent.”
One of the most downbeat commentators is Hermann Reith of Frankfurt-based BHF Bank, who says Chinese steel demand and output is already close to a peak. John Lichtenstein, head of global metals at the Accenture consultancy, does not quite go this far, suggesting that Chinese production will probably stabilise at about 800m tonnes a year by the end of the decade – compared to the 750m tonnes that Meps expects this year.