MEPS (International) Ltd
expects crude steel output in 2005 to be just below 1116 million
tonnes - 6.2 percent up on the year earlier figure. Blastfurnace
iron production is forecast to expand by almost 8 percent and direct
reduced iron supply by 2.7 percent, year on year.
The steel manufacturers of most
industrialised countries and the emerging nations have acted very
responsibly in reducing output to balance market demand, during the
second and third quarters of the year. This is expected to extend
into the final trimester. Our forecasts from the previous issue of
World Steel Outlook have been trimmed.
China still leads the way; with an
anticipated increase of 77 million tonnes. This will be more than
the 65.5 million tonne rise we attribute to the total world output.
Producers in the EU and US are expected to reduce supply by above 16
million tonnes in 2005.
Chinese steel consumption has been growing
rapidly for most of this year. However, steel output has been moving
up at a faster rate - transforming the country from a net importing
nation into a net exporter of steel. India will also increase output
this year by around 16.5percent - not all of which will be consumed
in their home markets.
Crude steel production is forecast at 162
million tonnes in the EU-15 in 2005. This represents a decrease of
almost 6.3 million tonnes on the year earlier figure (3.8 percent).
The decline for the steel manufacturers of the new entrant member
states will be even more dramatic - falling from 25.14 million
tonnes in 2004 to 21.17 million tonnes this year (15.8 percent).
Steel making in non-EU
European nations is expected to reach almost 32 million tonnes in
2005. Bulgarian output will be lower this year as the main flat
products producer reduces output due to weak demand. Turkish
production is forecast to rise by approximately 0.5 million tonnes
in 2005 compared to the previous year. This performance will help
the regional output to expand marginally this year.
In the former USSR, we predict output
declining by 1.4 million tonnes (more than one percent) in 2005,
year on year, in this region. Part of this reduction will be due to
a fall in exports of semi finished products. Blastfurnace iron
output is forecast to drop at a faster pace because of the reduced
North American demand has been slipping.
Import volumes have increased. However, the worst appears to be over
in the short term. Nevertheless, we forecast steel output in the
region falling by 6 percent in 2005 compared to the year earlier
Steel output in South America in 2005 is
forecast to be slightly down on the previous year’s outturn. A
mixed picture has developed with Brazilian steel making,
uncharacteristically, lower but with increases likely in most other
significant producing nations.
Total African steel making is expected to
be substantially up this year. Domestic demand from the North of the
continent is good. In contrast, consumption in sub-Saharan Africa is
not so exciting. We forecast total African steel production rising
from 16.65 million tonnes in 2004 to 18 million tonnes in 2005.
In the Middle East, we continue to forecast
strong growth in steel production in this region in 2005. More than
6 percent is predicted compared to the 2004 figure.
Total Asian steel production is expected to
reach almost 577 million tonnes this year. This represents an
increase of near 81.5 million tonnes (16.5 percent) on the 2004
figure and equates to in excess of 50 percent of global output for
the first time. Asian blastfurnace iron production will represent
more than 60 percent of the world’s total.