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India to surge past US in steel use in 2019, rank next only to China: study

Country will continue to hold second spot in 2020; While fiscal deficit might weigh on public investment to an extent, continuing infra projects are likely to support 7% growth in steel demand

Nirmalya Behera  |  Bhubaneswar 


will outstrip the United States to become the second largest steel consuming nation in the world in calendar 2019 after

China, the largest market for steel, will ace the rankings with an estimated consumption of 843.3 million tonnes in 2019.

In 2020 too, will pip US to finish as the second largest user of steel, according to World Steel Association (WSA).

The usage of finished steel products in is pegged at 102.8 million tonnes in 2019, rising to 110.2 million tonnes (mt) in 2020. The country’s steel use in 2018 was 96 million tonnes.

Against India's marked gains, WSA projects only a flattish growth in in 2019 at 101.4 mt, a trifle better than 100.2 mt in 2018. In 2020, is seen at 110.2 mt.

“Having overcome the shocks of demonetisation and the Goods & Services Tax (GST) implementation, the Indian economy is now expected to achieve faster growth starting in the second half of 2019 after the election”, WSA said.

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While fiscal deficit might weigh on public investment to an extent, the wide range of continuing infrastructure projects is likely to support growth in steel demand above seven per cent in both 2019 and 2020, the industry association said in its short-range outlook (SRO) for April 2019.

Steel demand in developing Asia excluding is expected to grow by 6.5 per cent and 6.4 per cent in 2019 and 2020 respectively, making it the fastest growing region in the global steel industry. Demand for steel in China, though, will drop to 834.9 mt in 2020.

In the ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) region, infrastructure development supports demand for steel, it said.

WSA has estimated that global steel demand will climb to 1,735 mt in 2019, an increase of 1.3 per cent over 2018. In 2020, the demand is projected to grow by one per cent to reach 1,752 mt.

“In 2019 and 2020, global steel demand is expected to continue to grow, but growth rates will moderate in tandem with a slowing global economy. Uncertainty over the trade environment and volatility in the financial markets has not yet subsided and could pose downside risks to this forecast,” Al Remeithi, chairman of the Worldsteel economics committee said.

Top five steel using countries (In million tonnes)

    2019 (f)
    2020 (f)
    United States
    South Korea

First Published: Mon, April 22 2019. 18:46 IST