By Tuba Sahin
The World Steel Association (Worldsteel) on Tuesday projected global steel demand will rise 1.8 year-on-year in 2018.
"Worldsteel forecasts global steel demand will reach 1.62 billion tons in 2018, an increase of 1.8 percent over 2017,” said the group’s April 2018 Short-Range Outlook.
The association also estimated demand will grow 0.7 percent to 1.63 billion tons in 2019, compared to 2018.
High confidence, strong investment levels, and recovery in commodity prices generated "a virtuous cycle" for steel demand globally in 2018, it said, and added:
"The slight deceleration in 2019 will be due to further deceleration in China and weakened investment momentum due to higher interest rates."
It noted that Turkish steel demand was strong in 2017 thanks to supportive government measures.
"While slightly decelerating due to subsiding special economic stimulus, steel demand in Turkey is expected to show stable growth in 2018 and 2019," the association said.
Worldsteel said that steel demand in China is forecast to remain unchanged in 2018 and to slip 2 percent on a yearly basis in 2019.
"Steel demand in the developed world is expected to increase by 1.8 percent in 2018 and decelerate to 1.1 percent in 2019," it said.
The association projected the demand in emerging markets (excluding China) to rise by 4.9 percent in 2018 and 4.5 percent in 2019.
Worldsteel members represent approximately 85 percent of the world's steel production, including over 160 steel producers with nine of the 10 largest steel companies, national and regional steel industry associations, and steel research institutes.