The World Steel Association (worldsteel) forecasts that apparent steel use will increase by 5.9% to 1.359Mt in 2011, following 13.2% growth in 2010.

It predicts steel demand will grow by a further 6% in 2012 to a record 1.441Mt.

Its short range outlook suggests that by 2012, steel use in the developed world will still be at 14% below the 2007 level, whereas in the emerging and developing economies, it will be 38% above. In 2012, the emerging and developing economies will account for 72% of world steel demand in contrast to 61% in 2007.

The worldsteel Economics Committee met in Beijing in March 2011 to discuss the outlook, just before the natural disaster in Japan. The forecast has not been revised yet due to the difficulty of assessing the impact of the earthquake and tsunami.

Daniel Novegil, chairman of the worldsteel Economics Committee said: “2010 saw a steady recovery of steel demand which began in the second half of 2009 driven by stimulus packages globally, the resilience of emerging economies and an overall market recovery. In 2011, we expect to see a further 5.9% growth in world steel demand.

“Our forecast is based on a stable and steady recovery of the world economy. There are however uncertainties deriving from financial fragilities in Europe, unrest in some oil producing countries in the Middle East and the earthquake in Japan, which could have a negative impact on the recovery and thereby affect steel demand.”