MEPS (International) Ltd predicts that world crude steel output will expand by 105Mt in 2011 – up 7.2% on the outturn in the previous year, to another record high.

It is important to note that MEPS figures for 2010 of 1.463bnt are above the official statistics because they incorporate an adjustment of 45Mt for under-reported production by the Chinese mills.

The data also includes output in the Middle East which is not contained in official figures. A significant proportion of this improvement will be driven by activities in developing nations. MEPS expects subdued demand from the steel sectors in industrialised countries.

China will continue to be the driving force behind growth in world steel production – providing more than half of the increased output to 728Mt.

Demand from the construction sector for affordable homes will make a large contribution. Steel making in the EU27 is expected to increase by 4% this year due to improved production in Italy and Germany.

South America will grow by 16.6%, the highest of all regions.