PITTSBURGH Global steel
growth in the second half of the year will largely depend on
decisions made by Chinas new leadership, according to the
top executive at Posco Ltd.
While the steel market has been
sluggish in recent months across a number of key consumption
regions due to an economic slowdown in China and debt issues
throughout Europe, there could be some reasons for optimism
ahead, said Joon-Yang Chung, chief executive officer of the
South Korean steelmaker.
"We really hope the (global)
steel market will recover slightly in the second half of the
year compared to the first half," Chung told AMM on
the sidelines of the AISTech 2013 event in Pittsburgh. "That
depends mainly on the new government in China and how the
leadership will function."
Late last year, the Chinese
government initiated a transition of top leadership, with some
analysts fearing that lower-than-expected economic growth and a
downward drift in commodity prices will become more evident in
the Asian nation as a result (
amm.com, May 7). Chinas leaders, however,
have since reaffirmed their commitment to focusing on quality
and profitability of growth in the nation.
Posco, which also has a major
U.S. West Coast presence through its USS-Posco Industries (UPI)
joint venture in Pittsburg, Calif., with U.S. Steel Corp.,
added that he predicts the U.S. steel market will grow "slowly"
in the near term but that the automotive sector remains a
bright spot domestically.