The World Steel Association publishes its Short Term Outlook for apparent steel use (ASU) twice a year in October and April.

While the April forecast predicts a global growth of 2.9% to 1454Mt in 2013 following growth of 1.2% in 2012, for 2013, the forecast growth rate has been revised down on last October’s forecast from 3.2% to 2.9% a fall of confidence of -0.3% in just six months.

In terms of tonnage of apparent consumption for 2012, the October forecast proved very nearly correct just 0.25% below the end of year figure of 1413Mt.

In 2013, forecast growth rates have generally faltered compared with the earlier October predictions. Growth in world ASU is estimated to now be 2.9%, a lowering of -0.3% on the October forecast. The largest correction, however is in the Middle East where the ASU growth forecast has dropped -5.1% to 0.8% which is also reflected in the prediction for the MENA region, down -3.5%. The EU(27) sees a drop of -2.9% and the CIS -1.9%.

Marginal increases in ASU growth of +0.4% compared with the October forecast are predicted for China, BRIC, Asia & Oceania, and Africa while ‘Other Europe’ has its forecast growth increased by +1.6%.

Overall growth is expected to continue in 2014 with forecasted growth of 3.2% for global ASU. Whilst demand from emerging markets remains the primary driver for this growth, there is also sustained steel consumption growth in the USA (3% for NAFTA) aided by averting the much talked about ‘fiscal cliff’ which has increased investor confidence and a recovery in the residential construction market is underway.

The worldsteel forecast tables made in April 2013 and October 2012 can be downloaded from the link below.