New Delhi: Global steel demand is expected to grow by 3.2 percent in 2013 but it would depend on recovery in key markets like China and euro-zone economies, the World Steel Association said on Thursday.

For the current year, it has forecast a growth of 2.1 percent, which is considerably lower than that of 6.2 percent growth of 2011.

Announcing the outlook, World Steel Economics Committee's Chairman Hans Jurgen Kerkhoff said: "We expect the situation to gradually improve in 2013 on the basis that the euro-zone crisis can be contained, the US successfully deals with the fiscal tightening due in 2013 and the economic stimuli measures secure a soft landing in China".

World Steel is one of the largest industry associations across the globe and represents 170 steel producers (including 17 of the world's 20 largest steel companies). Its members produce around 85 percent of the total global steel.

According to the outlook, demand in China -- the growth engine for world steel consumption -- is expected to increase by 2.5 percent to 639.5 MT during the current year. The East-Asian country, which had reported a growth of 6.2 percent in 2011, has been witnessing a worse-than-expected slowdown in demand this year.

However, World Steel said: "Government stimulus measures are likely to moderately improve the economic situation", and forecast 3.1 percent growth in Chinese steel consumption for 2013.

For India, it said 5.5 percent growth in demand is expected during the current calender year and it will come down further to 5 percent in 2013, "due to both unfavourable domestic and external economic conditions".

Apparent steel use in India is estimated to be at 73.6 MT in 2012 and 77.3 MT in 2013, World Steel said.

For the European Union, which represents 27 countries, World Steel said apparent steel usage is expected to decline by (-)5.6 percent in 2012 and the decline would be most visible in Spain and Italy.

For 2013, it has forecast a 2.4 percent growth for euro zone-27 countries and said: "Steel demand in Europe, however, remains at a depressed level and economic growth between countries continues to be uneven."


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