SAO PAULO U.S.
steel demand is unlikely to be impacted by the recent U.S.
federal shutdown, provided the issue remains a short term one,
according to German Steel Federation president Hans Jürgen
"In 2014, (U.S.) steel
demand is expected to grow by 3 percent, aided by the improving
global economy and activities in the automotive and residential
construction sectors," Kerkhoff said during a press conference
at the World Steel Associations (WorldSteels)
annual conference in Sao Paulo. "We do not expect the
government shutdown to impact GDP (gross domestic product)
negatively if the shutdown is confined to a few days."
steel body, which issued its short-term forecast Oct. 7, said
that U.S. steel demand is set to grow 0.7 percent this year vs.
a 2012 growth rate of 7.8 percent.
The U.S. federal
government moved into its second week of shutdown after
political parties failed to come to a compromise. Assuming that
the overall GDP wont be affected, there likely will be no
impact to steel, Kerkhoff said, adding that there are no major
political risks that would affect the U.S. market despite the
government having to negotiate on raising its debt ceiling in
the coming weeks.
Outside of steel
growth, changes in trade flows between the United States and
its partners could change in the months ahead due to a number
of recent trade cases filed against imports of Asian products,
including pipe and electrical steel. Imports of those products
could drop off in the near term, according to Joon-Yang Chung,
chief executive officer of South Korean steelmaker Posco
"We are facing a
serious situation in the industry, including anti-dumping on
OCTG (oil country tubular goods) and so on," he said. "I think
that Asian countries are now reducing exports to the USA to
forecast global apparent steel use would increase 3.1 percent
to 1.475 million tonnes in 2013, following 2-percent growth in
2012. Usage will increase a further 3.3 percent to 1.523
million tonnes in 2014, it added.
Much of that stability
in growth is caused by a continued recovery in developed
economies through 2014, although the association pointed out
that Chinas apparent steel use is expected to grow by 6
percent in 2013, but is forecast to slow to 3 percent in
considerably stabilized in the developed economies but are
rising in the emergent economies," Kerkhoff said. "Economic
conditions remain uncertain and challenging world steel demand
will continue to grow."