Steel behemoth ArcelorMittal more upbeat on forecasts

THE world’s biggest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal, yesterday signalled that the embattled industry may have turned the corner amid rising consumption this year.

Lakshmi Mittal, group chief executive and one of the world’s richest men, said he believed global steel consumption would rise up to 4 per cent in 2014 after a 3.5 per cent increase last year.

It came as ArcelorMittal, which makes 7 per cent of the world’s steel, reported underlying earnings of $1.91 billion (£1.16bn) for the final quarter of 2013. That outstripped the market consensus forecast of $1.8bn.

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The company forecast a slowdown in consumption growth in China and Brazil, but a 4 per cent expansion in the recovering American market.

It is also expecting a 2 per cent improvement in the European Union after two years of decline.