Andre Gerdau Johannpeter, President of the world steel association, told the Brazilian steel association’s annual conference in Brasilia on Wednesday that global steel demand would continue to grow in the short term, but with great uncertainty ,as global demand growth is expected to slow.”
Steel demand is at another inflection point that could be followed by a long period of low growth,” Johannpeter said.”Steel demand is facing new challenges: slowing population growth in developing economies and aging populations, rising income inequality and so on, affect economic growth and the middle-class base.”
“Environmental issues are also affecting the global steel industry and sustainability is now an important concept,” Johannpeter added.”Global steel demand remains concentrated in China, accounting for nearly 50 per cent of global steel production.But China’s steel demand is expected to grow only to 843.3 million tons this year, while its steel production is expected to rise 2 percent to 930 million tons.China’s steel demand is expected to fall to 834.9 million tons by 2020.”
“Political uncertainty could pose downside risks outside China.While demand for steel is slowing in developed economies, demand in emerging economies is mixed.Under these circumstances, India is expected to overtake the us this year to become the world’s second largest steel consumer, but still well below the level of China.”The world steel association expects India to consume 110 million tons of steel in 2020, compared with 101 million tons in the U.S. and 64 million tons in Japan.
In 2018, global steel production capacity was 2.235 billion tons, consumption was 1.84 billion tons, and overcapacity was 395 million tons. This remains the theme of international discussions and negotiations.The areas with excess capacity are: China has 154 million tons;1 million tons of cis;80 million tons from other Asian countries;47 million tons in Europe;26 million tons in central and South America;13 million tons in Oceania, the Middle East and north Africa;Six million tons of NAFTA.
Government should help eliminate inequality
Johannpeter said that while the use of steel was highly recyclable and could help reduce carbon dioxide emissions in other industries, regional inequity introduced by carbon pricing could undermine fair competition within the steel industry, an area in which governments must be involved.
“The government should promote and encourage a circular economy,” said the chairman of world steel.”Progress in the development and implementation of breakthrough steel-making technologies must be maintained or accelerated and the financial burden Shared.” He said the steel industry should be able to “make a great leap forward while trying to reduce emissions through technology”.