An investor’s guide to global steel market indicators

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Oct. 10 2014, Published 8:37 a.m. ET

The World Steel Association

The World Steel Association, or worldsteel, held its annual conference in Moscow earlier this month. Worldsteel is a global body representing 170 steel producers. Worldsteel members represent almost 85% of global steel production. The association’s data are keenly analyzed by investors in steel companies.

Following the Moscow conference, worldsteel released its short-range outlook for steel consumption in global markets. It also released a forecast for major steel-consuming regions.

steel consumptoin

Must-know: The major steel consuming regions

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Before we look at the expected growth in steel consumption, let’s look at the major steel-consuming regions. The chart above shows apparent steel consumption by region. As you can see, China is the biggest consumer of steel, followed by the European Union. United States is the third-biggest consumer, followed by India in fourth position.

Why this release is important for investors

Recently, worldsteel released August steel production data. You can read more about this in the Market Realist series Investing in steelmakers: A guide to August 2014 steel production. Although steel production is a key indicator for investors, it’s steel consumption that drives the markets. In the next part of this series, we will learn more about the importance of steel consumption.

In this series, you’ll learn about steel companies. Some of the major steel-producing companies in the U.S are ArcelorMittal SA (MT), United States Steel Corporation (X), AK Steel Holding Corporation (AKS), Steel Dynamics, Inc. (STLD), Nucor Corporation (NUE), and Commercial Metals Company (CMC). Investors may add these companies to their portfolios with the SPDR S&P Metals and Mining ETF (XME).

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