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OECD Steel Committee signals weak growth in global markets
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Tuesday, 11 Dec 2012

According to industry and government officials at the OECD’s Steel Committee meeting in Paris on 6-7 December 2012, the growth in global steel demand is expected to be slower in the coming decade than during the previous 10 years but longer term prospects are favourable

Statement from Risaburo Nezu, Chairman of the OECD Steel Committee
The Committee discussed the slow growth of global steel consumption observed in 2012 and expectations of moderate improvement for 2013

The Committee highlighted that the long-term prospects for steel as a material were favourable, but that the steel industry will face significant challenges in the medium term

The Committee exchanged views on the extent, causes and implications of excess steelmaking capacity and on industry and government approaches towards addressing this issue

The Committee noted the intensification of trade measures applied to steel, particularly non-tariff measures

The Committee discussed the impacts of climate change policies on the competitiveness of the industry, and the prospects for further improvements in energy efficiency in the manufacture of steel.

Global steel demand and production has continued to slow

Global steel demand growth has been slowing from 9% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2011 to 2% in the third quarter of 2012, according to data from the Commodity Research Unit (CRU). This slowdown has been driven by a sharp demand contraction in Europe, and slower growth in Asia and North America. The yearly growth rate of steel demand in Asia has declined from 11% in the third quarter of 2011 to 3% in the third quarter of 2012, driven by weaker growth in China during this period.

The reduction in global steel demand growth has been driven by weakening industrial production in most regions. Industrial production in advanced economies decreased by 0.5% in the third quarter of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, with negative growth rates registered in the euro area and Japan. Industrial production growth in the emerging economies has also been moderating since the beginning of 2011, to a growth rate of 5% in the third quarter of 2012 from 10% in early 2011.

In the first three quarters of 2012, world steel production reached 1533 million tonnes in annualised terms, representing a 0.6% increase from the same period in 2011. This marks a sharp slowdown compared to YoY growth of 8.6% in the first nine months of 2011. The yearly growth rate of Chinese steel production, which accounts for over 45% of the world’s total steel output, declined to 1.7% in the first three quarters of 2012, down from 11.9% in the first nine months of 2011.

Source - OECD


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