Global steel consumption is likely to grow at a slower pace than previously expected in 2014 and next year, the World Steel Association told its conference on Monday.
“The positive momentum in global steel demand seen in the second half of 2013 abated in 2014 with weaker than expected performance in the emerging and developing economies,” Hans Jurgen Kerkhoff, the association’s Committee chairman, said.
The association said global apparent steel use was now expected to rise 2.0 per cent, year-on-year, to 1.562 billion tonnes in 2014, down from growth of 3.8 per cent in 2013 and below a previous forecast for 3.1 per cent growth.
Global steel use was also forecast to rise 2.0 per cent in 2015 to 1.594 billion tonnes, it said, down from a previous forecast for 3.3 per cent growth.
“The slowdown in China’s steel demand reflecting the structural transformation of the economy has contributed significantly to our lower global growth projection,” Kerkhoff added.
The association also pointed to a major slowdown in South America and the CIS countries due to falling commodity prices, structural constraints and geopolitical tensions.
The crisis in Ukraine has plunged ties between Russia and the West, which backs Kiev, to their lowest level since the end of the Cold War.