The World Steel Association (worldsteel) released its short-range outlook (SRO) for 2010 and 2011. Worldsteel forecasts that apparent steel use will increase by 10.7% to 1,241 million metric tons (mmt) in 2010 after contracting by -6.7% in 2009. With these projections, world steel demand in 2010 will exceed pre-crisis levels of 2007. In 2011, it is forecast that world steel demand will grow by 5.3% to reach a historical high of 1,306 mmt. The resilience of the emerging economies, especially China, has been the critical factor enabling the earlier than expected recovery of world steel demand.

China’s apparent steel use in 2010 is expected to increase by 6.7% to 579 mmt after the impressive increase of 24.8% in 2009. In 2011, China will account for 45.5% of world apparent steel use. In the NAFTA region, apparent steel use in the U.S. fell by -41.6% in 2009 and recorded 57.4 mmt. With the recovery in the U.S. economy and stock rebuilding, apparent steel use is expected to grow by 26.5% in 2010 and then 7.5% to 78.1 mmt in 2011, bringing its apparent steel use back to the level of 1991.