expected to see 3% and 1% growth respectively in 2021 and 2022.”>expected to see 3% and 1% growth respectively in 2021 and 2022.”>
After declining 13.7% in 2020, India’s steel demand is expected to rebound by 19.8% in 2021, the highest rate among the top-10 consuming nations, the World Steel Association (WSA) said on Thursday.
Releasing its short-range outlook for 2021 and 2022, the WSA forecasted that demand growth for India in 2022, however, will be lower at 5.9%. In 2020, India’s steel consumption was 88.5 million tonne (MT).
“India suffered severely from an extended period of severe lockdown, which brought most industrial and construction activities to a standstill. However, the economy has been recovering strongly since August, much sharper than expected, with the resumption of government projects and pent-up consumption demand. The growth-oriented government agenda will drive India’s steel demand up, while private investment will take longer to recover,” WSA said.
According to the association, whose members represent 85% of the global steel production, globally steel demand will grow by 5.8% in 2021 to reach 1,874 MT, after declining by 0.2% in 2020. In 2022, global steel demand will see further growth of 2.7% to reach 1,924.6 MT. China, which recorded 9.1% growth in consumption in 2020, is expected to see 3% and 1% growth respectively in 2021 and 2022.
“The current forecast assumes that the ongoing second or third waves of 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,” it said.
Al Remeithi, chairman of worldsteel’s economics committee, said, “In the coming years, steel demand will recover firmly, both in the developed and developing economies, supported by pent-up demand and governments’ recovery programmes. However, for most developed economies, a return to the pre-pandemic levels of steel demand will take a few years.”
While it is hoped that the worst of the pandemic is passing, there is still considerable uncertainty for the rest of 2021. 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 this forecast, WSA said.