India's steel demand will slow down on account of weak auto and manufacturing order, but will remain strongest in Asia, Moody's Investors Service said on Tuesday. India will remain the world's second-largest steel producer behind China after having overtaken Japan in 2018, it added.
"India's steel demand growth pace will slow because of weak auto and manufacturing demand... India's demand growth, remains strongest in Asia even as growth pace slows," the US-based agency said in its outlook report titled 'Asia: Steel - 2020 outlook'.
The country's steel output will increase on higher capacity utilisation as demand grows.
"India's strong demand will keep imports high, but protectionist measures such as import taxes and anti-dumping duties will safeguard domestic steel producers," it said.
The US tariffs will have a limited impact on rated producers' sales. But the prolonged US-China trade disputes will have a spill-over impact through weaker macro conditions, the agency said.
Soft demand from the property and manufacturing sectors will limit Chinese steel demand growth. Korean demand will soften because of the sluggish construction and auto sectors.
Demand will weaken in Japan largely, driven by the falling needs from the manufacturing sector, it said.