'Steel demand in India may grow nearly 6% to 75.8 MT in 2013'
London: The demand for steel in India is expected to grow by 5.9 percent to 75.8 million tonnes in 2013, World Steel Economics Committee said Thursday.
Noting that India can grow faster, Chairman Hans Jurgen Kerkhoff Kerkhoff told reporters here: "In 2014, growth in steel demand in India is expected to further accelerate to 7 percent, thanks to the reform measures aimed at narrowing the fiscal deficit, coupled with measures to improve the foreign direct investment climate."
The steel demand growth was 2.5 percent in 2012-13. According to provisional official data, India consumed 73.33 MT steel last fiscal.
The growth has been strong in India for the last 20 years, though "it is wobbling at the moment", he said.
"India will continue to grow and we expect a GDP growth of over 6 percent. The demand for steel will be 76 million tonnes this year and it will be above 80 million tonnes next year," he said.
"World steel forecasts that global apparent steel use will increase by 2.9 percent to 1,454 million tonnes in 2013, following growth of 1.2 percent in 2012. In 2014, it is forecast that world steel demand will growth further by 3.2 percent and will reach 1,500 million tonnes," he said.
He said: "2012 was a challenging year for the steel industry with apparent steel use increasing at the slowest rate since 2009 when demand declined by minus 6.5 percent.
This was mainly due to the euro-zone crisis which persisted throughout 2012 and whose impact was felt further afield, the Chairman said.
On top of this, corrective macroeconomic measures in major emerging economies also contributed to a concerted slowdown globally.
"However, in the early part of 2013, the key risks to the global economy - the euro-zone crisis, a hard landing for the Chinese economy, and the US fiscal cliff issue - have all stabilised considerably and we now expect a recovery in global steel demand to kick in by the second half, led by the emerging economies.
"Yet, the situation on the financial markets remains fragile and the euro-zone crisis is far from being solved as the recent events in Cyprus have again show.
"In 2014, we expect a further pick up in global steel demand with the developed economies increasingly contributing to growth."
He said apparent steel use in China is expected to grow by 3.5 percent in 2013 to 668.8 million tonnes, following a 1.9 percent increase in 2012.
In 2014, steel demand is expected to grow by 2.5 percent as the Chinese government's measures to control investment in an effort to rebalance the economy will remain in place.