Good news for Saldanha Steel and the West Coast
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  • April 21, 2010
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Good news for Saldanha Steel and the West Coast

LONDON – World steel demand is growing faster and earlier than expected, driven primarily by China’s runaway growth, and is now expected to hit pre-crisis levels this year, the World Steel Association said on Tuesday.

The body expects apparent steel use to rise by 10,7% to R1,241-billion tons this year, while demand is expected to hit a historical high at 1,306-billion tons in 2011.

“The world steel industry now seems firmly set on a path to recovery,” Daniel Novegil, chairman of the association’s economics committee said in a statement. The forecasts show improved figures compared with estimates published in late 2009.

“The recovery is not only earlier but also stronger than expected. It was driven in large part by government stimulus packages and recent inventory re-stocking,” he added.

China’s apparent steel use in 2010 is expected to increase by 6,7% to 579-million tons. In 2009, it was estimated to have risen to 542,4-million tons.

The forecasts are from Worldsteel’s short range outlook, which its board approved in Vienna over the weekend.

While the growth picture for this year and next was looking robust, Novegil noted a much slower pace of recovery in key developed economies.

“The emerging economies, who in total maintained positive growth through the crisis will continue to show strong growth, driving world steel demand in the future,” he said.

“However the current recovery in major developed economies is slower and the projected steel demand for them in 2011 is well below 2007 levels,” he added.

The association has also published March global crude steel production figures, which showed a hefty jump of 30,6% year-on-year, bringing the production to 120-million tons.

In the first quarter of this year, crude steel output rose to 342,3-million tons, rising 29% compared with the same period last year.


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