Steel demand 'to hit fresh highs'

Steel worker in China
Image caption China continues to lead world steel demand

Global steel demand is expected to hit all-time highs next year, rising above levels last seen before the global economic crisis, a trade body has said.

The World Steel Association predicts world demand will rise 5.3% in 2011 to reach 1.34 billion tonnes, the highest amount since the first half of 2008.

It said continuing steel demand was being led by China, but that Europe was also consuming high volumes of steel.

Yet it added that the end of government stimulus measures may hit steel demand.

The World Steel Association also said that global exchange rate fluctuations could be another factor that clouded its steel output prediction.

For 2010, it says steel demand is likely to rise by 13.1% to 1.27 billion tonnes.

It added that China's demand for steel next year will be 42% higher than in 2007.

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