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By Maytaal Angel
LONDON (Reuters) - Global steel demand will grow more than previously forecast in 2017 due to a recovery in developed economies and accelerating growth in emerging and developing markets, especially Russia, Brazil and India, an industry body said on Friday.
The steel industry, worth about $900 billion a year, is seen as a gauge of the world's economic health.
"However, China, which accounts for 45 percent of global steel demand, is expected to return to a more subdued growth rate after its recent short uplift," it said in a statement.
Worldsteel expects China's demand for steel to be flat this year at 681 million tonnes and fall 2 percent next year to 667.4 million tonnes as the effects of last year's infrastructure-led government stimulus fade.
By contrast, the group expects steel demand in emerging and developing economies excluding China to grow 4 percent this year to 452.7 million tonnes, and a further 4.9 percent next year to 474.9 million tonnes.
Worldsteel raised its estimate for last year's demand growth to 1 percent from 0.2 percent, primarily because Beijing's infrastructure-led stimulus resulted in a sharper-than-expected increase in China's steel use.
According industry consultants MEPS, prices have risen some 45 percent since December 2015, when they had hit 12-year lows.
(Reporting by Maytaal Angel; Editing by Mark Potter and Edmund Blair)
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)