According to the World Steel Association's new short-range outlook, total global steel consumption will hit 1.54 billion metric tons during the current year, adding just 0.5% over 2014.
This estimate represents a major drop from the organization's October 2014 forecast, which predicted a 2% overall increase in 2015.
"We are releasing a restrained growth outlook for the global steel industry mainly due to the deceleration in China," Hans Jürgen Kerkhoff, chairman of the World Steel Economics Committee, said in a statement. "The outlook also reflects the influence of major structural adjustments in most economies, particularly owing to limited investment growth post 2008."
The Association points to falling steel demand in China—which declined last year for the first time since 1995—and lower oil prices as likely sources for the slip. It noted, however, that the latter should only show short term impacts.
"As economies adjust to lower oil prices, it may lead to reduced demand for steel in some economies in the short term, but should support economic growth and demand for steel in the medium term," the forecast observed.
Overall, the committee anticipated that steel demand in the developed would moderate in 2015, due to an evening off from increases in 2014 but also to less favorable steel markets in the U.S., Japan, and South Korea.
More on the global steel consumption report on American Machinist.
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