PITTSBURGH Global steel growth in the second half of the year will largely depend on decisions made by Chinas new leadership, according to the top executive at Posco Ltd.
While the steel market has been sluggish in recent months across a number of key consumption regions due to an economic slowdown in China and debt issues throughout Europe, there could be some reasons for optimism ahead, said Joon-Yang Chung, chief executive officer of the South Korean steelmaker.
"We really hope the (global) steel market will recover slightly in the second half of the year compared to the first half," Chung told AMM on the sidelines of the AISTech 2013 event in Pittsburgh. "That depends mainly on the new government in China and how the leadership will function."
Late last year, the Chinese government initiated a transition of top leadership, with some analysts fearing that lower-than-expected economic growth and a downward drift in commodity prices will become more evident in the Asian nation as a result (amm.com, May 7). Chinas leaders, however, have since reaffirmed their commitment to focusing on quality and profitability of growth in the nation.
Posco, which also has a major U.S. West Coast presence through its USS-Posco Industries (UPI) joint venture in Pittsburg, Calif., with U.S. Steel Corp., added that he predicts the U.S. steel market will grow "slowly" in the near term but that the automotive sector remains a bright spot domestically.