Global finished steel demand will grow by 1.8% to more than 1.616 billion tonne in 2018, and increase by another 0.7% to nearly 1.627 billion tonne in 2019 with India poised to overtake the US and grab the No. 2 slot in in terms of global steel demand. The country is likely to post year-on-year growth of steel demand estimated around 5.5% in 2018 and 6% in 2019, when demand will hit 97.5 million tonne. This is part of a broader recovery being seen in global steel sector the World Steel Association (worldsteel) siad on Tuesday while releasing its April 2018 Short Range Outlook (SRO).
The Indian economy is stabilising from the impact of currency reform and GST implementation and steel demand is expected to accelerate gradually, mainly driven by public investment. However, stronger growth is held back by still weak private investment, the WSA said.
While the global steel demand is being witnessed across both developing and developed countries, the only exception is China. A world production and consumption leader, China will see flat demand this year, followed by a 2% decline in 2019. Steel demand for China will be roughly 736.8 million mt this year and 722.1 million tonne next year, according to WSA. Europe will experience small year-on-year increases in growth, with the European Union 28 countries’ collective demand to rise by 2% this year (to 165.6 million tonne) and 0.8% next year (to 166.9 million tonne). The NAFTA region should realize a 3% increase in 2018 and another 1.6% rise in 2019, WSA said, translating into demand of 145 million and 147.3 million, respectively.
Africa will likely see the biggest reversal of fortune this year, swinging from a -6.8% demand decline in 2017 to growth of 4.5% this year and another 4.6% next year, when demand will total 36.6 million tonne and 38.3 million tonne, respectively, it said.
Central and South America are likely to realize 6.2% growth this year, to 43.5 million tonne, and 4.9% growth, to 45.6 million tonne, in 2019 – a significant turnaround from just a few years ago when the region saw a 13.6% decline in 2016.
Similarly, the CIS region is expected to see continued positive growth over the next two years of 2.3% and 1.8% in 2018 and 2019, after realizing a contraction just a few years ago. Its demand will total 54 million tonne this year and 55 million tonne next year, according to WSA Brussels-based .