Worldwide steel consumption growth to drop this year

The World Steel Association is cutting its forecasts for global use of the commodity by 1.8% this year, as China – the world’s biggest consumer of steel- has slowed down its growth.

The organization, whose members produce nearly 85% of the world's steel, expects global demand to rise 3.6% to 1.42 billion tonnes, down from an earlier forecast of 5.6% in 2011. It forecasts apparent use to rise another 4.5% in 2013 to 1.486 billion tons.

Hans Juergen Kerkhoff, Chairman of the WSA Economics Committee said the biggest single negative in the forecast is uncertainty around the euro zone. He added that steel usage in the European Union is expected to contract 1.2% this year to 150.9 million tons, before growing 3.3% in 2013 to 155.8 million tons.

The association's forecasts for this year assume that political uncertainty in the Middle East and North Africa and the probability of a downturn in China will not contribute to reduce steel demand too much.

The World Steel Association (worldsteel) is one of the largest and most dynamic industry associations in the world. Worldsteel represents approximately 170 steel producers, including 17 of the world's 20 largest steel companies, national and regional steel industry associations, and steel research institutes.