The World Steel Association (worldsteel) released its latest short range outlook on Monday, forecasting that global steel demand will reach 1.6481 billion tonnes next year, up from 1.6221 billion tonnes in the current calendar year.
This map shows the group’s forecasts for demand by region.
For China, the largest producer and consumer worldwide, growth in demand is tipped to slow next year, increasing by 2.6% to 882.4 million tonnes from 856.4 million in 2017.
For developed nations, demand is expected to lift 0.9% next year following a 2.3% increase in 2017, while that in developing nations ex-China is expected to outperform, growing 2.8% this year before accelerating by 4.9% in 2018.
“In 2018, we expect global growth to moderate, mainly due to slower growth in China, while in the rest of the world, steel demand will continue to maintain its current momentum,” said T.V. Narendran, Chairman of the worldsteel Economics Committee.
“So, world steel demand is recovering well, driven largely by cyclical factors rather than structural.”
Beyond the short-to-medium term, Narendran says a “lack of a strong growth engine to replace China and a long-term decline in steel intensity due to technological and environmental factors will continue to weigh on steel demand in the future”.
worldsteel has over 160 steel producers that account for approximately 85% of global steel production.