Demand for steel products in industrial and emerging markets
In light of previously unsustainable growth rates in China’s construction sector, the steel industry is predicted to face a difficult period beginning in 2017. In the industrialized world, it is estimated that around 410 million metric tons of finished steel products will be consumed in 2017. This figure represents a 1.1 percent increase on the 2016 figure, when consumption is expected to be a little less than 406 billion metric tons.
Emerging markets continue to play a major role in steel demand. India and Mexico are the two markets that are set to experience the strongest growth in apparent steel use between 2016 and 2017, offsetting contracting growth in China, where demand is predicted to decline by three percent. Both emerging and developing economies are set to see moderate growth rates through 2017. The European Union is expected to see tepid growth of about 1.7 percent. Steel is an important material used in shipbuilding and car manufacturing, as well as building construction and infrastructure development. Companies in these sectors will be happy to see steel and oil prices at low levels.