ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker, trimmed its forecast for global steel consumption on Friday as a more pronounced slowdown in China and a decline in Russia outweighed growing optimism about Europe.
The company, which makes 6-7 percent of the world's steel and is a broad gauge for the health of global manufacturing, said apparent steel consumption, which includes inventory changes, should increase by between 3.0 and 3.5 percent in 2014.
That compared with its previous forecast for growth of between 3.5 and 4 percent and last year's expansion of about 3.5 percent.
ArcelorMittal itself, which sells more than 85 percent of its steel in Europe and the Americas, retained its own forecast that it would report a core profit of some $8.0 billion in 2014, from $6.9 billion in 2013.
It said this was based on a 3 percent increase in steel shipments, a 15 percent rise in shipments of iron ore, average ore prices of about $120 per tonne. They had fallen to about $106 by the start of this month.
ArcelorMittal, more than double the size of its nearest rival, reported first-quarter core profit (EBITDA) of $1.75 billion, the same as the average expectation in a Reuters poll of brokers.