1st quarter output figures released by ISSF
Based on preliminary numbers, the global stainless crude steel production in quarter 1 of 2011 was 8.4 million metric tons (mmt) according to the International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF). The numbers were released during the ISSF-15 Annual Conference of Members in Madrid.
Compared to quarter 4 of 2010, this represents an increase of 8.2% on already strong levels of production. Most regions reported increased production volumes in the quarter-on-quarter comparison. However, the Americas region shows the strongest growth.
Global stainless crude steel production in the three months of 2011 reached an all-time high for a first quarter.
Total production grew by 8.6% to nearly 8.4 million tons. The highest year-on-year growth was again seen in China: with an increase in production of 18% to almost 3.1 million metric tons. The Asian stainless steel producers - China excluded - kept their production almost unchanged at 2.2 mmt. The Western Europe/Africa region increased production by 6.4% to 2.2 mmt. The Americas saw a further increase of stainless steel production of 6.9% to 0.8 mmt.
This global growth rate in the year-on-year comparison is mainly based on strong end-user demand and on continuing replenishments of stocks at service centres and in stainless processing industries.
ISSF does not expect that these growth rates will be sustainable over the rest of 2011. The current perception is that markets will return to de-stocking due to the current high volatility of raw material quotations. For the full year, ISSF nevertheless expects an overall increase in global stainless steel production that will see another year of record production.
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