Automation|Automotive|Construction|DIGITALISATION|Energy|Manufacturing|Steel|Tourism|Manufacturing |Infrastructure
Automation|Automotive|Construction|DIGITALISATION|Energy|Manufacturing|Steel|Tourism|Manufacturing |Infrastructure

5.8% steel demand growth expected this year

30th April 2021

By: Schalk Burger

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


Font size: - +

Industry body the World Steel Association (worldsteel) forecasts in its ‘Short Range Outlook for 2021 and 2022’ that steel demand will grow by 5.8% to1.87-billion tonnes this year.

The association expects further steel demand of 2.7% to reach 1.92-billion tonnes in 2022.

“Despite the disastrous impact of the [Covid-19] pandemic on lives and livelihoods, the global steel industry was fortunate enough to end 2020 with only a minor contraction in steel demand. This was due to a surprisingly robust recovery in China, with growth of 9.1%. In the rest of the world, steel demand contracted by 10%,” says worldsteel economics committee chairperson Al Remeithi.

“In the coming years, steel demand will recover firmly in developed and developing economies, supported by pent-up demand and governments’ recovery programmes. However, for most developed economies, a return to the prepandemic levels of steel demand will take a few years.”

The forecast assumes that the ongoing second or third waves of Covid-19 infections will stabilise in the second quarter and that steady progress on vaccinations will be made, allowing a gradual return to normality in major steel-using countries.

While it is hoped that the worst of the pandemic is passing, there is still considerable uncertainty regarding the rest of this year.

However, the evolution of the virus and progress of vaccinations, withdrawal of supportive fiscal and monetary policies, geopolitics and trade tensions could all affect the recovery envisaged in worldsteel’s forecast, he notes.

“For the future, structural changes in a postpandemic world will bring about shifts in steel demand shape. The steel industry will see exciting opportunities from rapid developments through digitalisation and automation, infrastructure initiatives, reorganisation of urban centres and energy transformation – all at the same time as the industry is responding to the need to produce low-carbon steel,” says Remeithi.

After the free-fall in economic activity in advanced economies during the second quarter of 2020, the industry generally rebounded quickly in the third quarter, largely as a result of the substantial fiscal stimulus measures and pent-up demand.

However, activity still remained below the prepandemic level at the end of 2020. As a result, the developed world’s steel demand recorded a double-digit decline of 12.7% in 2020.

“We will see substantial recovery in 2021 and 2022, with growth of 8.2% and 4.2% respectively. However, steel demand in 2022 will still fall short of 2019 levels,” he points out.

Meanwhile, the European Union’s (EU’s)steel-using sectors experienced a stronger- than-expected post-lockdown rebound in manufacturing activity, owing to supportive government measures and pent-up demand.

“The recovery in 2021 and 2022 is expected to be healthy, driven by recovery in all steel-using sectors, especially the automotive sector, and public construction initiatives. So far, the EU’s recovery momentum has not been derailed by the ongoing third waves, but it remains fragile.”

Generally speaking, developing economies, excluding China, suffered more from the pandemic relative to developed economies, with inadequate medical capacity, a collapse in tourism and commodity prices, and insufficient fiscal support.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online



SAIMC (Society for Automation, Instrumentation, Mechatronics and Control)
SAIMC (Society for Automation, Instrumentation, Mechatronics and Control)

Education: Consulting with member companies to obtain the optimal benefits from their B-BBEE spending, skills resources as well as B-BBEE points

Sandvik Rock Processing Solutions
Sandvik Rock Processing Solutions

Sandvik Rock Processing Solutions is a leading supplier of equipment, tools, parts, service and solutions for processing rock and minerals in the...


Latest Multimedia

sponsored by

Photo of Martin Creamer
Jupiter Mines, Copper 360 and DRDGold make headlines
1st December 2023
Magazine round up | 01 December 2023
Magazine round up | 01 December 2023
1st December 2023

Option 1 (equivalent of R125 a month):

Receive a weekly copy of Creamer Media's Engineering News & Mining Weekly magazine
(print copy for those in South Africa and e-magazine for those outside of South Africa)
Receive daily email newsletters
Access to full search results
Access archive of magazine back copies
Access to Projects in Progress
Access to ONE Research Report of your choice in PDF format

Option 2 (equivalent of R375 a month):

All benefits from Option 1
Access to Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa for ALL Research Reports, in PDF format, on various industrial and mining sectors including Electricity; Water; Energy Transition; Hydrogen; Roads, Rail and Ports; Coal; Gold; Platinum; Battery Metals; etc.

Already a subscriber?

Forgotten your password?







sq:0.229 0.266s - 91pq - 2rq
Subscribe Now