Growth in third quarter output
The world produced 6.3 mmt of stainless steel in the third quarter of 2008, 6.8% higher than for the same quarter of 2007. Growth came mainly from Europe and the Americas. Asian production remained flat with China showing a decline in stainless steel production compared to both the previous quarter and, for the first time, when compared to the same quarter in the previous year.
The Western Europe/Africa region shows the most significant increase in production during 2008. Production in the region has reached 6.8 mmt for the year to date, a 4.9% increase on the same period of 2007.
Production in The Americas region decreased in the same period by 2.1% to 1.9 mmt. The Central & Eastern Europe region increased production slightly on low volume.
Production in the Asia region has reached 12.1 mmt for the year to date, a drop of 1% compared to the first nine months of 2007. With the exception of China, all Asian countries have reduced their stainless production significantly. Even China, which produced 5.5 mmt of stainless in the first three quarters of 2008, could not compensate for the losses of the other countries in the region. Japanese production is down by 3% to 2.9 mmt.
The quarter by quarter figures have shown a clear upward direction in stainless steel production so far this year. After Quarter 1, global output was 2.8% lower than in the same period of 2007. By the end of Quarter 2 production was just 0.4% below the previous year. Production increased by 6.8% in Quarter 3. The trend is unlikely to be sustained in the final quarter of 2008 given the current global economic climate.
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