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International commercial director Kim Marti Subirana told delegates at the International Rebar Exporters & Producers Assn (Irepas) meeting and SteelOrbis conference in Doha, Qatar, that the coming year is forecast to continue to show growth in the emerging markets.

“We need to be optimistic that 2013 will be better than 2012, with developing economies in the driving seat – the Middle East-North Africa [Mena] region, Asia, Central and South America,” Subirana said.

“Following a slowdown in the second half of 2012, it now looks like [the long product market] will regain momentum in 2013,” he added.

Although the global long products market grew by 5.8% year-on-year in 2012, the Celsa official said, the European market shrank by 9.6% compared with 2011.

Looking at the different products, rebar showed the best global performance.

“Rebar was the big winner in the [2012] long-product consumption mix,” he said. “This was owing to good construction activity in emerging and developing countries, powering 9.8% growth [year-on-year].”

In Europe alone, the lack of demand in the construction sector weighed on the rebar market, which decreased by 8.4% year-on-year.

“Rebar consumption continues to move from advanced to emerging markets,” Subirana said.

Sections consumption in Europe was down by 12.1% year-on-year, mainly owing to a drop in investment in industry in the region.

European markets for merchant bar and wire rod also fell by 9.4% and 6.6% year-on-year in 2012.