Strong Growth in World
Stainless Steel Output to Continue
Annual global crude
stainless steel production for 2017 is estimated to have totalled an
all-time high of around 48 million tonnes, which represents a
year-on-year increase of 4.9 percent. MEPS forecasts a further rise
in worldwide outturn of nearly 5 percent, in 2018, to a new peak of
50.3 million tonnes.
Recently-issued official Chinese output figures were significantly
higher than earlier expectations. The annual total at close to 26
million tonnes represents 54 percent of global crude stainless steel
production. A further escalation of around one million tonnes is
predicted, in China, in 2018.
Crude stainless steel output continued its strong recovery in
Taiwan, in 2017. The estimated outturn of 1.375 million tonnes
equates to an upturn of nearly 9 percent, compared with the year
earlier figure. More moderate growth of around 4 percent, is
anticipated for this year.
South Korea production also developed strongly, last year. The
estimated annual total of 2.4 million tonnes represents an increase
of nearly 6 percent, year-on-year. Further, steady expansion, of
around 4 percent, is predicted for 2018.
Japanese crude stainless steel output, in 2017, is projected to be
3.15 million tonnes, which amounts to a moderate increase of just
under 2 percent, compared with the previous year’s total. A similar
rate of growth is forecast for this year.
Recovering industrial activity helped stainless steel output, in the
United States, to expand by around 8 percent, in 2017, to reach a
total of around 2.7 million tonnes. However, demand eased, in recent
months, and MEPS’ forecast for growth, in 2018, is more
conservative, at less than 2 percent.
Output in the European Union continues to recover at a slow but
steady rate, of around 2 percent per year. An outturn of 7.4 million
tonnes is estimated, for 2017. A further increase, of 150,000
tonnes, is predicted for 2018.
Crude stainless steel output is expanding more rapidly in a number
of countries in the “Others” category. New production capacity,
notably in India and Indonesia, contributed to estimated growth of
more than 12 percent, in this group of countries, in 2017. As
steelmaking at these new facilities ramps up, a substantial upturn,
of around 20 percent, is predicted for this year.
Source: MEPS -
Review - January 2018 Issue
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