Moscow: Global steel consumption is likely to grow at a slower pace than previously expected in 2014 and 2015, the World Steel Association told its conference on Monday.

“The positive momentum in global steel demand seen in the second half of 2013 abated in 2014 with weaker-than-expected performance in the emerging and developing economies," Hans Jurgen Kerkhoff, the association’s committee chairman, said.

The association said global apparent steel use was now expected to rise 2% year-on-year to 1.562 billion tonnes in 2014, down from growth of 3.8% in 2013 and below a previous forecast for 3.1% growth.

Global steel use was also forecast to rise 2.0% in 2015 to 1.594 billion tonnes, it said, down from a previous forecast for 3.3% growth.

“The slowdown in China’s steel demand reflecting the structural transformation of the economy has contributed significantly to our lower global growth projection," Kerkhoff added.

The association also pointed to a major slowdown in South America and the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries due to falling commodity prices, structural constraints and geopolitical tensions.

The crisis in Ukraine has plunged ties between Russia and the West, which backs Kiev, to their lowest level since the end of the Cold War. Reuters

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