ISSF expects 11-12% increase in stainless proudction this year
Just under 7.5 mmt of stainless steel was produced during the first quarter of 2010, almost the highest ever volume for the first three months of a year. All areas of the world contributed to the increase in production with The Americas leading the way. Nevertheless, a comparison with Q1 2009 is strongly impacted by the extraordinary low production level in Q1 2009 due to the crisis: the apparent increase in production by 54.6% cannot be sustained throughout 2010. ISSF has previously noted that a recovery began in the last two quarters of 2009 as production began to return to normal levels.
While impressive, the year-on-year comparison should be reviewed in the light of the following points:
1.Production in the first quarter of 2009 was almost the lowest in a decade due to the effects of the global recession which was followed by heavy de-stocking.
2.The global economy began to recover in the second half of 2009 and manufacturing activity in stainless-using industries, such as the automotive sector, is increasing.
3.After a very strong de-stocking in 2009, better market conditions may encourage many fabricators and stainless steel stockholders to replenish their stocks.
ISSF expects that the stainless industry on a world basis will continue to return to its normal production on a reasonable level over the following quarters of 2010 and 2011. For the full year, ISSF expects around 11 to 12% increase in the volume of stainless steel production.
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