The world's largest steel producer, ArcelorMittal, expects global steel production to be flat in 2015. Kirsty Basset reports.
The world's largest steelmaker says consumption of the metal will be flat this year, as China's slowdown continues to bite. ArcelorMittal says it will do better in the second half of the year rather than the first - and is keeping its 2015 profit target of between 6 and 7 billion dollars. It now expects Chinese consumption to contract, rather than grow by up to one per cent. Europe is the only region where steel consumption is expected to grow. While second half improvements are forecast to come from the United States. Panmure Gordon's David Buik. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DAVID BUIK, MARKET COMMENTATOR, PANMURE GORDON, SAYING: "Growth around the world is very fragmented. Mittal made the strong comments this morning, I believe that he was concerned about the falling demand in China, where steel has been a very important component for the resurgence of the business, particularly in the last 5-10 years." ArcelorMittal has limited exposure to China - but as the world's largest consumer, China is an important driver of the global market. The company produces 6 to 7 per cent of the world's steel. Shares rose as much as 4 per cent in early trade.