worldsteel@ (Adds detail, background)
BRUSSELS, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Global steel demand growth is expected to slow to 1.6 percent next year following strong growth in 2017 that was driven by top consumer China, the World Steel Association (worldsteel) said on Monday.
"The risks to the global economy ... have to some extent abated. We see the best balance of risks since the 2008 economic crisis," worldsteel said in a statement.
It added, however: "In 2018 we expect growth to moderate, mainly due to slower growth in China."
Global steel demand will reach 1.648 billion tonnes next year, after hitting 1.622 billion tonnes this year, worldsteel said. The 2017 figure corresponds to nominal growth of 7 percent and underlying growth of 2.8 percent.
China this year closed most of its outdated and in many cases illegal induction furnaces, a category not previously captured in official demand statistics, hence the one off effect on nominal versus underlying demand.
Worldsteel expects steel use in China to reach 765.7 million tonnes this year and next. The 2017 China figure corresponds to nominal growth of 12.4 percent this year and underlying growth of 3 percent, worldsteel said.
Next year, however, China's steel demand growth will be flat. (Reporting by Maytaal Angel; Editing by Louise Heavens and Mark Potter)