World Steel Use Growth to Slow as China Decelerates, Lobby Says

Growth in world steel use will slow this year as China’s consumption of the metal decelerates, the World Steel Association trade lobby said.

Global “apparent” steel use will increase 3.1 percent in 2014 to 1.53 billion metric tons, after 3.6 percent growth last year, the Brussels-based group said today in a report. Chinese consumption will rise 3 percent, down from 6.1 percent.

“Many emerging economies continue to struggle with structural issues and financial market volatility,” Hans Jurgen Kerkhoff, chairman of the Worldsteel Economics Committee, said in the report. “This, along with China’s deceleration, is the reason for our slightly lower global growth rate forecast for 2014.”

European Union steel use is forecast to rise 3.1 percent this year and 3 percent in 2015, while the North America will use 3.8 percent more steel in 2014 and 3.4 percent more the following year. World steel consumption is seen expanding 3.3 percent in 2015.

“In short, the global steel demand recovery continues but growth is stabilizing at a lower rate with continued volatility and uncertainty leading to a challenging environment for steel companies,” Kerkhoff said.

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