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ArcelorMittal sees 2012 steel use up 4 to 4.5

Source: Reuters Date: 08 May 2012

May 8 (Reuters) - ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, sees global steel consumption growing by between 4 and 4.5 percent, with a decline in steel use in Europe and a surge in North America, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

In comments to Reuters after the company’s annual shareholder meeting, Lakshmi Mittal said he expected apparent steel consumption to drop by 2 percent in Europe.

Asked if he was concerned about a revival of the euro zone debt crisis after inconclusive elections in Greece, Mittal declined to comment beyond saying: “A lot has happened in the past week.”

ArcelorMittal reports first-quarter earnings on Thursday morning, with analysts expecting its core profit (EBITDA) to be largely unchanged from the final quarter of 2011.

Mittal said he believed the steel market in North America would grow by between 6 and 7 percent and demand in the rest of the world to rise by 4 to 5 percent.

His forecasts are more bearish for Europe and bullish for North America than the World Steel Association.

The association forecast last month that steel use would increase by 3.6 percent following growth in 2011 of 5.6 percent. It also said it expected world steel demand would grow by 4.5 percent in 2013.

Its forecast for Europe is for steel use to slip by 1.2 percent this year, with a modest recovery of 3.3 percent in 2013. This projection would leave EU steel demand to only 79 percent of the pre-crisis 2007 level.

For NAFTA it sees growth of 5.2 and 5.1 percent in 2012 and 2013 respectively, with U.S. demand reaching 92 percent of the 2007 level in 2013.

May 8 (Reuters) - ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, sees global steel consumption growing by between 4 and 4.5 percent, with a decline in steel use in Europe and a surge in North America, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

In comments to Reuters after the company’s annual shareholder meeting, Lakshmi Mittal said he expected apparent steel consumption to drop by 2 percent in Europe.

Asked if he was concerned about a revival of the euro zone debt crisis after inconclusive elections in Greece, Mittal declined to comment beyond saying: “A lot has happened in the past week.”

ArcelorMittal reports first-quarter earnings on Thursday morning, with analysts expecting its core profit (EBITDA) to be largely unchanged from the final quarter of 2011.

Mittal said he believed the steel market in North America would grow by between 6 and 7 percent and demand in the rest of the world to rise by 4 to 5 percent.

His forecasts are more bearish for Europe and bullish for North America than the World Steel Association.

The association forecast last month that steel use would increase by 3.6 percent following growth in 2011 of 5.6 percent. It also said it expected world steel demand would grow by 4.5 percent in 2013.

Its forecast for Europe is for steel use to slip by 1.2 percent this year, with a modest recovery of 3.3 percent in 2013. This projection would leave EU steel demand to only 79 percent of the pre-crisis 2007 level.

For NAFTA it sees growth of 5.2 and 5.1 percent in 2012 and 2013 respectively, with U.S. demand reaching 92 percent of the 2007 level in 2013.

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