NEW DELHI U.S. apparent
steel demand is on course to reach 100 million tonnes in 2013,
the World Steel Association (WorldSteel) said Thursday at its
annual conference in New Delhi as it revised its forecast
upward by 500,000 tonnes from its prior prediction in
The association also revised its
expectations for the countrys 2012 demand growth to 96.5
million tonnes, an increase of 2.3 million tonnes.
"The U.S. perhaps is a bright
spot for the steel industry in 2012," Hans Jürgen
Kerkhoff, president of the German Steel Federation and chairman
of WorldSteels economics committee, told an audience of
global steel executives Thursday during the groups
short-range outlook presentation.
He cited the automotive sector,
energy infrastructure spending from the shale gas boom and a
"timid" recovery in housing construction as the causes of the
increases seen thus far this year.
Demand from the automotive
sector is unlikely to continue increasing at the same pace next
year, Nae Hee Han, WorldSteels chief representative from
its Beijing office, told AMM on the sidelines of the
As of September, the U.S. auto
industry was on pace to sell 14.94 million vehicles on an
annualized basis, according to Woodcliff Lake, N.J.-based
"It was a rebound from last year
and supply chain disruptions," she said, referring to issues
following the Japanese earthquake in 2011. As for whether the
"timid" improvements in the housing sector will continue into
next year, "we hope so."
New home starts reached a
seasonally adjusted rate of 750,000 units in August, up 2.3
percent from a month earlier and 29.1 percent higher than
August 2011 levels, according to U.S. Commerce Department
Apparent steel consumption in
the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) region is
expected to grow by a "healthy" 7.5 percent in 2012 to 130.4
million tonnes. However, that growth rate is expected to slow
to 3.6 percent in 2013, WorldSteel said, pegging the
regions apparent steel usage for that year at 135.1
On a global basis, apparent
steel use is expected to increase 3.2 percent to 1.46 billion
tonnes in 2013. That figure was revised downward from an April
forecast of 3.6-percent growth (
amm.com, April 27).
The protracted eurozone crisis
and the sharper-than-expected slowdown in China are the two
major factors contributing to the associations "modest"
outlook for global steel demand, Kerkhoff said.