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China slows steel demand; India accelerates

October 4, 2010

Owning to environment friendly policies and a tempered slowing economy, global growth in steel demand, is expected to drop to 5.3 percent in 2011, from a growth of 13.1 percent in 2010. World steel demand is nonetheless expected to reach 1.34 billion tonnes, the highest amount since the first half of 2008.

According to The World Steel Association, India’s rise as an emerging power will expand its use of steel to 8.2 percent in 2010 and 13.6 percent in 2011, making it the third largest steel consuming nation, after China and the US. India’s steel use will be 32 percent above its 2007 level.

China’s steel demand meanwhile which is half that of the world’s and which has ascended at a blistering rate of 24.8 percent last year, and has already increased by 9.2 percent during January-August 2010 and is expected to taper to a growth of 6.7 percent in 2010 and 3.5 percent in 2011, as Beijing attempts to stop the economy from overheating and implements environment friendly norms by cutting back on hefty infrastructure spending. Nonetheless, China’s steel use in 2011 is expected to be 42 percent above 2007 levels and China will yet account for about 45 percent of world apparent steel use in 2011.

“China’s apparent steel use growth will slow considerably in the remaining part of this year due to the Chinese government’s effort to cool the real estate sector and ongoing steel production control,” the association said. China curbed electricity supplies to steel makers last month to reach energy efficiency targets and has also ordered companies to shut obsolete mills.

Meanwhile, Steel demand in India is forecast to grow 10 percent in the year ending March 31, 2010 helped by demand for automobiles and spending on roads and ports, G.K. Basak, executive secretary of steel ministry’s joint plant committee, said on Sept. 6.

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