The World Steel Association (worldsteel) is forecasting that apparent steel use will contract worldwide by 8.6% to 1.104bnt in 2009 after declining by 1.4% in 2008

This is an improved figure over the spring forecast issued in April 2009 which predicted a decrease of 14.1%.

The improvement is largely due to the strong growth in steel demand in China. With signs, from the beginning of the second half of 2009, of a recovery across the world, global steel demand in 2010 is forecast to grow 9.2% to 1.206bnt which is a recovery to the level of 2008.

According to the forecast, China will rebound 19% in 2009 and 5% in 2010. While emerging economies will slow down by 17% in 2009, they will grow again in 2010 by 12%.

Apparent steel use in developed economies contracted 34% in 2009, but will rebound 15% in 2010. Worldsteel said global demand will return to growth in 2010 but is expected to be

Uncertainties and concerns regarding the resilience of the recovery still remain with the possibility of any premature reduction in government stimulus actions. This uncertainty particularly exists for the Chinese economy in 2010, whose fast recovery in 2009 was largely caused by such government stimulus policies.

China’s apparent steel use in 2009 is expected to increase 18.8% to 526Mt. China is expected to account for 47.7% of world steel apparent use and excluding China, potential world steel demand would have fallen by 24.4%.

India also remained relatively resilient to the global crisis and apparent steel use is expected to grow by 8.9% and 12.1% in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

The NAFTA region is expected to show a 35.8% decline in apparent steel use in 2009 and then grow 17.1% in 2010. Apparent steel demand in the US is likely to fall by 38.7% to 60Mt in 2009 after falling by 8.2% in 2008. It is forecast to recover to 72Mt in 2010 with a growth rate of 18.8%.

The EU-27 economies were also severely affected by the crisis and the region’s apparent steel use is expected to fall 32.6% in 2009 to 122Mt. In 2010, apparent steel use in the EU-27 is expected to grow by 12.4% with UK leading the recovery at 24.5%.

For NAFTA and EU-27, the level of apparent steel use expected in 2010 amounts to what was achieved in 1991, demonstrating the severity of the impact of the crisis on the steel industry.
Japan will see its apparent steel use decline by 31.3% this year but is expected to recover by 15.8% in 2010 to reach 61Mt.

Apparent steel use in the CIS region is expected to contract 30.8% in 2009 and should grow by only 8.2% in 2010. Russia’s decline in 2009 is 29.5% followed by a growth of 8.5% in 2010. Worldsteel members produce around 85% of the world's steel.

A table of individual countries is downloadable from the worldsteel web site at id=275& latest=0&jaar=