Abu Dhabi: Global steel demand is expected to continue to grow in 2019 and 2020, but growth rates will moderate in tandem with a slowing global economy, according to Saeed Gumran Al Remeithi, Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Steel and Chairman of the World Steel Association’s Economic Committee.
“Uncertainty over the trade environment and volatility in the financial markets has not yet subsided and could pose downside risks to this forecast,” Al Remeithi said in a statement.
The World Steel Association projects global steel demand will reach 1,735 million tonnes (MT) in 2019, an increase of 1.3 per cent over 2018. In 2020, it forecasts global steel demand growing by 0.9 per cent to reach 1,752 million tonnes.
However, in the Middle East region, steel demand is expected to contract by 2.6 per cent to 48.9 million tonnes in 2019, with a minor recovery forecasted in 2020 with demand expected to reach 49.5 MT, a growth of 1.2 per cent.
“In 2019 and 2020 growth is still expected, but in a less favourable economic environment. China’s deceleration, a slowing global economy, and uncertainty surrounding trade policies and the political situation in many regions suggest a possible moderation in business confidence and investment,” said Al Remeithi.
“Economic diversification efforts in the GCC continue but fiscal consolidation is still suppressing construction activities, however, in North Africa the situation looks brighter with Egypt recovering strongly after the structural reforms of 2017.”