The World Steel Association issued a Short Range Outlook report for global steel consumption, meaning the remainder of 2013 and 2014, and predicted that volumes would rise 3.1% over that period. In terms of tonnage, that projection would mean 2013 global steel consumption would rise to 1.475 billion metric tons– a 2% increase over the actual figure for 2012 — and increase further to 1.523 billion metric tons in 2014.

The forecast is slightly more positive for growth than the preceding Short Range Outlook, issued in April. But, the optimism remains guarded: “With risks within the developed world receding there is some uncertainty emerging from developing countries due to unresolved structural issues, political instability, and volatile financial markets,” the announcement offered. “All in all, despite economic conditions for the global steel industry remaining uncertain and challenging, we are forecasting further growth for steel demand in 2014.”

“The key risks in the global economy – the Euro Zone crisis and a hard landing for the Chinese economy – which we identified in our last SRO issued in April, have continued to stabilize through the last six months,” explained Hans Jürgen Kerkhoff, the chairman of the World Steel Economics Committee. “Our underlying assumption remains that the U.S. will resolve its fiscal constraint soon. The correction in the Euro Zone has been more severe than we forecasted but the improvement seen recently is now expected to continue for the rest of 2013.”

Increases in steel consumption in emerging economies (namely India and Brazil) have failed to materialize, which the forecasters attribute to “key structural issues,” and these factors have led to a lower steel demand performance than predicted across the world.