The outlook for global steel demand over the next couple of years, in one map

Michael Hurcomb/Corbis via Getty Images

Chinese steel demand is likely to fall over the next couple of years.

That’s the view offered by the World Steel Association (worldsteel) in its latest Short Range Outlook (SRO) report with the group forecasting that renewed weakness in China will see global steel demand slow in 2018 and 2019.

“In 2018 and 2019 [Chinese] GDP growth is expected to decelerate mildly. Steel demand in 2018 is expected to stay flat. In 2019, it is expected to contract by 2.0% with a further slowdown in construction activity,” says worldsteel.

However, despite weaker demand in the world’s largest individual market, it sees stronger demand in other regions helping to keep overall global growth in positive territory.

“Steel demand in emerging and developing economies excluding China is expected to increase by 4.9% and 4.5% in 2018 and 2019 respectively,” worldsteel says.

“Steel demand in the developed world is expected to increase by 1.8% in 2018 and decelerate to 1.1% in 2019.”

As a result of those expected divergent regional performances, seen in the map below, worldsteel sees total global steel demand lifting by 1.8% this year to 1.6161 billion tonnes. In 2019, demand is seen increasing by a further 0.7% to 1.6267 billion tonnes.

Source: worldsteel

The World Steel Association’s members represent approximately 85% of global steel production.

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