Steel News


2012 Was Record Year for Global Stainless Production, But Increase Uneven

8/2/2013 - The International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) has released preliminary figures for 2012 which show that stainless steel production grew by 5.2% to reach a record high of 35.4 million metric tonnes. China accounted for the increase in production, with other regions of the world showing negative growth, mainly due to de-stocking.
Stainless steel production in Asia (excluding China) decreased by 0.6% to 8.7 million metric tonnes in 2012. Japanese production reduced by 2.5% to 3.2 million metric tonnes while Taiwan lost 7.8% of it stainless production over the year. Few countries in Asia increased output, though Korea (0.5%) and India (+5.3%) achieved positive growth during 2012.
Even during the recent years of reduced economic activity, China has been the principal growth area for stainless steel production. During 2012 it increased production by 14.2% to reach 16.1 million metric tonnes (based on corrected figures for 2011 and 2012). Together, Asian stainless steel producers now account for 70% of global production.
Western Europe and Africa is the second largest stainless steel producing region despite lower production during 2012. Volume for the year reached 7.8 million metric tonnes, down 0.7% compared to 2011. Growth rates for individual countries in the region ranged from -13% to +8%.
Stainless production in the Americas was 4.7% lower than in 2011 with a total output of 2.4 million metric tonnes. In Central and Eastern Europe, output dropped by an average 8.2%. Total production was, however, 0.4 million metric tonnes, which is almost negligible in global terms.

Stainless crude steel production (in '000 metric tonnes)

Region

Full Year

 

12 Months

 

 

2010

2011

+/- %

2011

2012

Y-o-Y %

Western Europe/Africa

7,878

7,883

0.1

7,883

7,829

-0.7

Central and Eastern Europe

340

391

15.2

391

359

-8.2

The Americas

2,609

2,486

-4.7

2,486

2,368

-4.7

Asia (Excluding China)

9,011

8,770

-2.7

8,770

8,720

-0.6

China

11,256

14,091

25.2

14,091

16,087

14.2

World total

31,094

33,621

8.1

33,621

35,363

5.2

Over the past few years, the stainless steel market has seen major changes in the mix of grades produced. Chromium-manganese (CrMn) grades have grown in importance. More recently the share of chromium (Cr) grades has also increased.
Based on data from member companies, ISSF is able to estimate the market share of the three main categories of stainless steel (see table). Data for 2012 shows that CrMn steels now account for a higher percentage of total production. This is mainly due to the data corrections which have been released by China.
 

Market share of stainless steel grade categories in 2012 (estimated and preliminary)

Region

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Full Year 2012

CrMn (200 series)

16.3

18.6

25.3

23.7

21.1%

CrNi (300 series)

58.3

55.7

50.7

51.9

54.1%

Cr (400 series)

25.4

25.7

23.9

24.4

24.8%

 

The International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) is a non-profit research organization which serves as the world forum on various aspects of the international stainless steel industry. Founded in 1996, ISSF is based in Brussels, Belgium.