MEPS estimates world steel output, in 2010, at just over 1.4 billion tonnes. This equates to a rise of over 190 million tonnes (16 percent) compared with 2009. China, Japan and the US have contributed over 50 percent of the growth. Steel production in Germany and South Korea has also shown significant expansion.
The majority of countries have recorded double-digit percentage rises in 2010 relative to 2009. The largest of these are found in the more economically developed regions – European Union, North America and Oceania - whose markets declined the most in the downturn of 2009.
The economic outlook for 2011 is cautiously optimistic. In the West, certain sectors of the economy are performing well. However, the construction market remains depressed and this continues to dampen demand for steel, especially long products. Government spending cuts and the fragile financial situation could pose further negative risks.
In 2011, strong growth in steel production is expected in South America and the Middle East. Although the impact of this will be relatively small on the world total when compared to the dominance of China. Gains in the industrialised nations are likely to be modest. MEPS forecasts a year-on-year increase of approximately 4.4 percent for global steel production in 2012.