BEIJING, Mar. 5 -- China's steel demand will continue to subside this year due to a possible domestic slowdown and faltering global economic recovery.
China's crude steel consumption may hit 690 million tons this year, while its output is expected to rise by 7 percent to reach 730 million tons, according to a statement posted on the website of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
The nation's steel exports will likely stand at 50 million tons, while its imports may reach 15 million tons.
The growth of China's steel consumption has fallen since June, as the country's efforts to curb inflation have slowed fixed-asset investment.
The world economy is not likely to see a rapid recovery this year, with its growth rate slowing to around 3 percent, according to estimates from several international institutions.
Developed nations are facing the risk of another recession this year, which may weigh on economies in developing countries.
The ministry said it expected a fall in steel prices this year due to waning demand.
"The highest point for steel prices in 2012 will be lower than that of 2011. Prices may rebound in the second half after experiencing downward movement in the first half," the statement said.