LONDON Global growth in apparent steel use has been revised downward to 2.9 percent for this year, the World Steel Association (WorldSteel) said in an April 11 report.
This would result in the use of 1.454 billion tonnes of steel this year, down slightly from WorldSteels October forecast of 3.2-percent growth for 2013 to 1.455 billion tonnes.
Declining expectations in Europe contributed to the slight fall. Apparent steel use in Europe is now expected to contract by 0.5 percent over the course of 2013 to 139 million tonnes, in contrast to a prior forecast for 2013 growth of 2.4 percent to 148 million tonnes.
But this is almost entirely offset by higher growth forecasts in such regions as the Middle East-North Africa (Mena) and the so-called Bric nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China).
Chinas apparent steel use is now seen growing 3.5 percent to 669 million tonnes for 2013, up slightly from the prior forecast of 3.1-percent growth to 640 million tonnes.
But Chinese growth is seen slowing in the next few years, as the number of coastal Chinese infrastructure projects "level off," WorldSteel director general Edwin Basson said.
The coastal regions of China are home to the majority of the countrys population.
Global steel use for 2014 is forecast to grow 3.2 percent to 1.5 billion tonnes, Brussels-based WorldSteel said.
"We now expect a recovery in global steel demand to kick in by the second half (of 2013), led by the emerging economies," Hans Jürgen Kerkhoff, chairman of WorldSteels economics committee, said.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.