Worldsteel Updates Steel Demand

Worldsteel Updates Steel Demand

Worldsteel has released an update to its Short-Term Outlook (SRO) for 2023 and 2024. Worldsteel forecasts steel demand will grow 1.8% in 2023, reaching 1,814.5 tonnes after contracting 3.3% in 2022. In 2024, steel demand will further increase by 1.9% to 1,849.1 tons.

Commenting on the outlook, the Chairman of the World Steel Association's Economic Committee said: "Steel demand has been affected by the high inflation and high interest rate environment. Taking into account the lagged effects of tight monetary policy, we expect the recovery of steel demand in advanced economies to be slow in 2024. Emerging economies Growth is expected to be faster than that of advanced economies, but the performance of emerging economies continues to diverge, with emerging Asian economies remaining resilient.

Thanks to the government's increased construction efforts, China's infrastructure investment will continue to maintain growth momentum in 2023. The government may initiate some additional infrastructure projects. As a result, infrastructure investment is expected to remain moderately positive in 2023 and 2024. The growth momentum of the manufacturing industry has also weakened, but it will still maintain moderate growth in 2023, with positive growth in automobile production and strong growth in home appliances. As the external market deteriorates, manufacturing growth momentum may further weaken.

It is expected that steel demand will record a growth of 2.0% in 2023, supported by infrastructure investment and stabilization of the real estate industry. The outlook for 2024 is uncertain. However, under the assumption that the government will introduce additional measures to support the economy, steel demand in 2024 is likely to maintain the level of 2023. If the stimulus effect is weaker than expected, there are downside risks in both 2023 and 2024. Steel demand is expected to fall by 5.1% in 2023, following a 7.8% decline in 2022. Growth is expected to be 5.8% in 2024.

After falling by 0.6% in 2022, steel demand in emerging and developing economies excluding China will grow by 4.1% and 4.8% respectively in 2023 and 2024.

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