Demand for steel to double by 2020?

Amid signs of a global economic recovery, world steel producers are seeing a growing demand for steel. At their annual industry meeting in Sao Paulo, they predicted stronger markets but also fiercer competition.

According to an industry report released at the annual meeting of global steelmakers in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Monday, global steel consumption was expected to grow 3.1 percent this year, up from weaker demand of 2 percent in 2012.

Does that mean we can expect stable markets in 2014?

Not at all.

“The market always fluctuates” as famously quoted by J.P. Morgan is truer than we ever knew, especially with regard to the steel industry. A growing demand this year may just seem like a positive turn for the industry, but there might just be a sudden drop as seen in 2008.

Meanwhile, On Tuesday, Jürgen Kerkhoff, chairman of the body's Economics Committee, said in a statement that global steel demand was continuing to recover as advanced economies were returning to growth.

At the same time, however, steel consumption in China was slowing, he added, slumping from 6 percent growth this year to 3 percent in 2014.

However, this is balanced out by a decent and steady growth in Europe. In Germany, for example, a decline in steel consumption of 1.6 percent this year would be offset by growth of about 3 percent next year.