The World Steel Association said some significant risks to steel consumption had eased in recent months and would fuel a 3.1 percent increase in steel usage this year and a 3.3-percent rise in 2014 to 1,523 million metric tons.
Steel consumption last year was up 2.0 percent, and the WSA said the near-term included fewer question marks for the industry, "The key risks in the global economy -- the eurozone crisis and a hard landing for the Chinese economy -- have continued to stabilize through the past six months," said Hans Jurgen Kerkhoff, a member of the WSA Economics Committee. "Our underlying assumption remains that the U.S. will resolve its fiscal constraint soon."
China will likely remain the driving force in the world steel market, the report said. Demand in China this year will likely be 6.0 percent over 2012, or just under 700 million metric tons. When China is removed from the worldwide equation, steel demand for 2013 is up a modest 0.7 percent.
"Next year, however, the growth rate for Chinese demand is expected to slow down while things pick up in developing economies," Kerkhoff said. "Steel demand in 2014 is expected to slow to 3.0 percent growth as the Chinese government's efforts to re-balance the economy continue to restrain investment activities."
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