The World Steel Association (worldsteel) believes steel use will increase by 10.7% to 1.24bnt in 2010 after decreasing 6.7% in 2009.

This is an improved figure over the Autumn 2009 forecast for 2009 and 2010. With these projections, world steel demand in 2010 will exceed pre-crisis levels of 2007.

In 2011, it is forecast that world steel demand will grow 5.3% to reach a historical high of 1.30bnt. It said the resilience of emerging economies, especially China, has been the critical factor enabling the earlier than expected recovery of demand.
It did state though that the risk of increased volatility of raw material prices remains a major concern to the industry.

Daniel Novegil, chairman of the worldsteel economics committee said: “The emerging economies, who maintained positive growth through the crisis, will continue to show strong growth, driving world steel demand in the future.

“However the current recovery in the major developed economies is slower and the projected steel demand for them in 2011 is well below the 2007 level.”China’s apparent steel use in 2010 is expected to increase by 6.7% to 579Mt after an impressive increase of 24.8% in 2009.

The pace of economic growth and steel production in Q1 2010 suggests apparent steel use could be even higher than forecast. In 2011, the growth rate is expected to slow to 2.8%, which will increase China’s apparent steel use to 595Mt.

India’s steel demand maintained stable growth during the crisis and is expected to grow by 13.9% and 13.7% in 2010 and 2011 respectively, after 7.7% in 2009.

In the NAFTA region, apparent steel use in the USA fell by 41.6% in 2009 and recorded 57.4Mt. With the recovery in the US economy and stock rebuilding, apparent steel use is expected to grow by 26.5% in 2010 and then 7.5% to 78.1Mt in 2011, bringing its apparent steel use back to 1991 levels.

The Middle East will continue its growth with use reaching 68.2Mt in 2011. For more information please view the attached PDF.