STAINLESS SECTOR SHINES
DESPITE STEEL INDUSTRY’S DULL SHOWING IN 2015
MEPS predicts that world crude stainless steel
will reach an all-time high of 42.1 million tonnes in calendar year
2015. This would represent a 1.0 percent increase on the previous
record figure, set last year. MEPS expects further moderate growth
in global output in 2016. A new peak volume of 43 million tonnes is
anticipated next year.
Worldwide production in the second quarter of this year turned out
to be disappointing – particularly the outcomes in the United
States, Japan and China. Consequently, output during the first six
months was 0.75 percent less than in the same period in 2014. The
year-on-year growth rate, during the second half of 2015, is
expected to recover to around 2.8 percent.
Amongst the established stainless steelmaking regions, total output
for 2015 is forecast to be higher than last year in the United
States and South Korea but lower in Japan, Taiwan and the EU.
Production in all these countries remains below the peak figures
recorded in 2006.
Although the annual rate of growth, in China, has slowed from 14.3
percent, in 2014, to 2.0 percent, this year, the country’s dominance
as the world’s largest producer of stainless steel continues to
increase. China’s share of global output has risen from 18.5 percent
in 2006 to an estimated 52.5 percent in 2015. Further moderate
production growth of 1.8 percent, is predicted for next year.
Demand in the EU has been weak during the summer and is expected to
remain mediocre through the final quarter. Year-on-year output is
forecast to drop by 1.6 percent, to 7.125 million tonnes, in 2015.
An increase of 150,000 tonnes is predicted for 2016.
Demand in the United States continues to recover, slowly. Stainless
steel production is expected to total 2.4 million tonnes in 2015 –
0.5 percent more than last year. Output is predicted to climb by a
further 2.1 percent, next year.
Japan’s 2015 outturn is foreseen at 3.125 million tonnes,
representing a disappointing drop of 6.3 percent. MEPS forecast for
2016 is an improvement of 100,000 tonnes. South Korea’s estimated
result is much more encouraging. The 2015 total is likely to be 7.8
percent higher than last year’s figure. A more moderate annual
growth rate of 1.1 percent is envisaged for next year.
A slight decrease, of 0.7 percent, year-on-year, is forecast for
Taiwan’s output in 2015. However, activity is expected to recover,
in 2016, to give an annual growth rate of 4.5 percent.
Source: MEPS -
Review - October Issue
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