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The percentage rise was lower than the association’s prediction of 1.1% at the end of November.

This was a consequence of three consecutive monthly falls in the fourth quarter of 2012.

In December, consumption dropped by 5.6%, to 1.8 million tonnes, IABr said.

Consumption also fell in November, by 0.5%, to 2.1 million tonnes, following a previous fall in October.

In 2013, steel consumption is predicted to grow to 26.4 million tonnes.