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Global Steel demand to rise by 3.9% in 2019, 1.7% in 2020: worldsteel

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MONTERREY (Scrap Register): Steel demand in China will grow by 7.8% to reach 900.1 Mt and the rest of the world is expected to record 0.2% growth to 874.9 Mt in 2019, the World Steel Association (worldsteel) said in its Short Range Outlook (SRO) for 2019 and 2020.

In 2020, Chinese steel demand is expected to grow by 1.0%, whereas steel demand in the rest of the world will grow by 2.5%, driven by 4.1% growth in the emerging and developing economies excluding China, worldsteel said.

Global steel demand will grow by 3.9% to 1,775.0 Mt in 2019 and will grow by another 1.7% in 2020, reaching 1,805.7 Mt. Global steel demand remains resilient despite an uncertain global economic environment, driven by developing and emerging economies, the report said.

"The current SRO suggests that global steel demand will continue to grow in 2019, more than we expected in these challenging times, mainly due to China," said Al Remeithi, chairman of the worldsteel economics committee.

The rest of the world was hampered by "uncertainty, trade tensions and geopolitical issues" which "weighed on investment and trade," added Remeithi. "Manufacturing, particularly the auto industry, has performed poorly contracting in many countries, however in construction, despite some slowing a positive momentum has been maintained."

Steel demand is expected to fall in five of eight regions in 2019. The sharpest year-on-year decline is forecast to be Europe outside the European Union, including Turkey, where demand is expected to decline by 12.1% to 32.9 Mt in 2019. Steel demand in the EU is slated to decline by 1.2% to 166.8 Mt in 2019.

The NAFTA region is expected to be mostly flat in 2019 with 0.6% demand growth in 2019 to 141.5 Mt. All major regions were forecast to show flat-to-positive steel demand growth in 2020 but face "significant downside risks if the current level of uncertainty prevails," said Remeithi in the report.

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