Stainless output still on the up
Preliminary figures released by the International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) show that worldwide stainless steel crude steel production increased by 3.6% in the first nine months of 2011 compared to the corresponding period of 2010. Total production for the first three quarters of 2011 was an accumulated 24.2 million metric tons (mmt). Production reached 7.7 mmt in the third quarter – a new all-time-high for a third quarter. However, there are big differences in the performance of the individual regions.
Excluding China, stainless steel production in Asia decreased by 1.9% to 6.6 million metric tonnes (mmt) for the first nine months of 2011. However, the growth rates of the individual stainless-producing countries in Asia showed variations ranging from plus 10% in India, to minus 33% in Taiwan.
Mainland China increased its stainless steel production by 12.8% in the first three quarters of 2011 to 9.4 mmt. The country now accounts for around 39% of the world’s stainless steel production. This compares to the same period of 2010, when China’s market share was at about 36%. At the end of the third quarter of 2011, Asia (including China) accounted for two thirds of the world’s stainless steel production and the trend is increasing.
Western Europe/Africa is the third largest stainless steel producing area in the world. However, stainless steel production in the first three quarters of 2011 dropped slightly by 0.7%. Total production was 6 mmt for the first nine months of the year.
In The Americas region, stainless crude steel production decreased by 5.5% to 1.9 million tons over the first three quarters of the year. Production in the Central and Eastern Europe region showed an increase of 20.4%. However, total production for the year so far is just 0.3 mmt, an almost negligible volume.
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Some industry tweets