Growth in Stainless Steel Production Around the World Uneven
Total production for the first six months of 2013 was 18.6 million metric tons — these are 0.8 million metric tons more than in the same period of last year and it is another all-time high. However the analysis by regions and even more by individual countries show very mixed results ranging from minus 15% to plus 15%.
In Asia with China excluded, stainless steel production decreased by 3.7% to 4.3 million tons. There was a mixed performance of the individual Asian countries in the period of review: While India showed increased production volumes the stainless crude steel production decreased in Japan, Korea and Taiwan, China. China increased the stainless steel production in the period of review by 15.1% to 8.8 million metric tons. Thus entire Asia now counts for approximately 70% of the world stainless crude steel production.
Western Europe/Africa experienced a shrinking development in stainless steel production during the first six months of 2013. Total production was 4.1 million metric tons (minus 4.0%) in this period. Also in this area there was a split development showing production changes from plus 2% to minus 15% after the first six months of 2013.
In the Americas region, stainless crude steel production decreased by 1.9% to 1.2 million tons in the first half of the year. Production in the Eastern Europe region showed a plus of 12.4% — mainly due to the strong performance of Russia — with now some 0.2 million metric tons continuously on an almost negligible low volume level.
Comparing quarter by quarter shows a more negative development of stainless steel melting activities. All regions — except Eastern Europe — showed stagnating or decreasing melting volumes in quarter 2 compared to the previous quarter. China increased the stainless production quarter on quarter by just 0.2%. Asia showed a q-o-q decline by 3.9%, The Americas reported a 2.7% decrease in the same time. EuroAfrica reduced production significantly by 5.6% q-o-q. The globally achieved volume of 9.2 million metric tons is nevertheless the highest ever achieved production level for a second quarter.