Steel demand in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region is expected to increase by 4.9 per cent in 2012 after a fall in consumption last year, according to the World Steel Association (Worldsteel).

Crude steel demand is forecast to total 62.7 million tonnes compared with 2011, when it fell 2 per cent to 59.8 million tonnes, the Brussels-based organisation said.

“The recovery of steel demand in the Mena region has been slower than expected due to continuing political instability, but apparent steel use in the region will still increase by 4.9 per cent in 2012,” Worldsteel predicted in its short-range outlook.

Demand growth is expected to accelerate to 6.7 per cent in 2013, with consumption estimated at 66.9 million tonnes.

Global crude steel demand growth is expected to slow to 2.1 per cent in 2012, from 6.2 per cent last year, due to a drop in consumption in the EU and slowing Asian growth.