US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Global steel demand this year will fall by 6.4% due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on industrial and construction activities, but demand will recover next year, the World Steel Association predicted, reports Reuters.
A number of industrial enterprises, such as car makers, closed during the blockages to fight against coronavirus, which reduced the demand for steel and stimulated the closure of many blast furnaces.
“This virus, the impact of the pandemic, has truly hit our industry at all levels,” said Edwin Basson, head of the association.
He added that the producer group, which accounts for about 85% of global steel production, believes that any second wave of the virus will not cause serious blockages.
After falling to 1.65 billion tons this year, steel demand is projected to recover by 3.8% in 2021 to 1.72 billion tons under the best economic scenario, which was developed jointly with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
“At present, we are of the opinion that we are on the way to the best scenario that we showed you here,” Basson said.
However, he did not provide details of the worst-case scenario forecast.
Overall, the auto industry is expected to recover more slowly than the construction sector, he added.
The association said the exposure to the virus was uneven: steel demand among leading manufacturers and consumers in China this year will increase by 1%, while in developed countries it will fall by 17%.
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