UK based MEPS predicts global steel output at 1625 million tonnes in 2012. This equates to a rise of over 80 million tonnes (5.4%) compared with 2011. The BRIC nations, along with Turkey and the USA, are projected to contribute 85 percent of the growth.
Mills in the EU continue to restrict production volumes and this could result in the annual outturn rising by just 1.6%.
In the rest of Europe, including the CIS, the 2012 outturn is expected to increase by 3.6% YoY. MEPS predicts that Turkish steel production will be at an all time high figure. However, the rate of growth will be slower than last year due to a moderation in domestic consumption and lower exports. Producers in the CIS are cautious of a downturn in export sales to Iran because of international sanctions.
North American raw steel production in 2012 is expected to rise by 4.7% to a figure in excess of 124 million tonnes. US mills have sustained strong activity buoyed by a more positive economic outlook.
Total South American steel manufacturing is likely to surpass the 50 million tonne mark in 2012, an expansion of over 2.5 million tonnes compared with the outturn in the previous twelve months.
In 2012, MEPS believes steelmakers in Africa should be able to recover approximately half the lost tonnage from 2011. Another record steel output figure is forecast for 2012 in the Middle East. At 25 million tonnes, this will be the fourteenth consecutive rise in production.
MEPS envisages Asian steelmaking expanding by well over 60 million tonnes this year to reach 1064 million tonnes. The majority of this gain will be provided by Chinese producers. Output in this country is forecast to grow by 7.9% YoY. In India, market sentiment is picking up and raw materials are becoming easier to source. Consequently, the annual increase in steel production is likely to be higher this year than last. MEPS anticipates a marginal rise in steel output this year in Japan and South Korea.
MEPS global crude steel production forecast
f - Forecast
In million tonnes
Source - MEPS - World Steel Outlook