S. Korea's 2020 Domestic Steel Demand Forecast to Hit 11-year Low | Be Korea-savvy

S. Korea’s 2020 Domestic Steel Demand Forecast to Hit 11-year Low

This undated photo provided by Hyundai Steel Co. shows the company's cold-rolled steel products.

This undated photo provided by Hyundai Steel Co. shows the company’s cold-rolled steel products.

SEOUL, Dec. 17 (Korea Bizwire)South Korea’s domestic demand for steel is forecast to hit the lowest level in 11 years in 2020 due to the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, a trade body said Thursday.

The Korea Iron & Steel Association said domestic steel demand is likely to reach the 48 million-ton range this year, down around 8 percent from 53.2 million tons a year earlier, as manufacturing, construction and other key industries were stung by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The figure is projected to be the lowest since the country’s steel demand tumbled to 45.4 million tons in 2009 from 58.6 million tons the previous year in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Since beginning to increase again in 2010, domestic steel demand had been hovering above the 50-million-ton mark over the past 10 years.

Industry sources said domestic steel demand is expected to remain in the 50-million-ton level next year due mainly to sluggish demand for the shipbuilding industry.

The association also predicted South Korea’s exports of steel products to reach up to 29 million tons this year due to the coronavirus impact, falling below the 30-million-ton level for the first time in seven years.

In the first 10 months of the year, South Korea’s steel exports shrank 16 percent from the same period a year earlier.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is South Korea’s biggest steel export market with a share of 22 percent, followed by China with 19 percent and Japan with 11 percent.

In particular, exports to China soared 43 percent on-year to 4.61 million tons in the 10-month period, bolstering South Korea’s overseas shipments of steel products.

However, South Korea’s 2020 steel exports to Japan are feared to plunge about 20 percent from a year earlier due to slumping demand from the neighboring country, according to the association.


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