The World Steel Association (worldsteel) released an update to its Short Range Outlook (SRO) for 2020 and 2021. This SRO is showing a much more optimistic outlook than the previous SRO finalized in June. While still showing a decline in demand for 2020, it is a much smaller decline than previously expected.
In 2020 worldsteel forecasts that steel demand will contract by -2.4%, dropping to 1,725.1 Mt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021 steel demand is expected to recover to 1,795.1 Mt, an increase of 4.1 % over 2020. A strong recovery in China will mitigate the reduction in global steel demand this year. The post lockdown recovery in steel demand in the rest of the world has been stronger than was earlier expected, but it still marks a deep contraction in 2020, both from developed and emerging economies, with only a partial recovery expected in 2021.
The forecast assumes that despite the current resurgence in infections in many parts of the world, nationwide lockdowns will not be repeated. Instead, selective and targeted measures will be able to contain this second wave.