Global steel demand recovering in 2021

The World Steel Association forecasts steel demand growing by 5.8% to 1.87 billion metric tons this year, after a slight decrease in 2020, with an automotive sector rebound among the leading factors.

The World Steel Association forecasts that global steel demand will rise 5.8% this year to 1.87 billion metric tons, then a further 2.7% to 1.92 billion metric tons in 2022. Demand from automotive and construction sectors offer the best prospects for growth. These predictions follow a year of slightly declining (-0.2%) demand in 2020, with major consuming industries like automotive and construction beset by pandemic-related restrictions and supply-chain disruptions.

The association added that its new forecast assumes that second or third waves COVID-19 outbreaks will stabilise in Q2 2021, and that vaccinations will contribute to “a gradual return to normality in major steel-using countries.”

According to Saaed Al Remeithi, chairman of the World Steel Economics Committee: “The global steel industry was fortunate enough to end 2020 with only a minor contraction in steel demand. This was due to a surprisingly robust recovery in China, with growth of 9.1%. In the rest of the world steel demand contracted by 10.0%.”

The association forecasts that Africa will grow by 8.3% in 2021 and by 5.9% in 2022 after contracting by 9.4% in 2020. The figures in tons are 35.6 million metric tons for 2020, 38.6 million metric tons for 2021 and 40.9 million metric tons for 2022. China is forecast to consume 1 024.9 million metric tons 2021.