Growth In Stainless Steel Output To Continue
Worldwide crude stainless steel production, in 2017,
reached an all-time high total of nearly 48.1 million tonnes. This represents an
increase of 5 percent, compared with the year earlier figure. MEPS predicts that
global output will grow by a further 5 percent, in 2018, to achieve a new record
high mark of around 50.5 million tonnes.
The introduction of tariffs or quotas, arising from the
United States’ Section 232 action, is likely to alter the patterns of trade
between the major stainless steel producing countries. Output in the United
States grew by a healthy 11 percent, year-on-year, in 2017. We forecast more
moderate expansion, this year.
Production in South Korea and Taiwan continued its
recovery, having slumped, following the Global Financial Crisis of 2008/9.
Output increased by 6 percent, last year, in South Korea, to total 2.4 million
tonnes. In Taiwan, production grew by nearly 9 percent, compared with the year
earlier figure, to reach almost 1.4 million tonnes. Both countries are expected
to record increases of around 4 percent, year-on-year, in 2018.
Growth is more moderate, in the traditional stainless
steelmaking centres of Japan and the European Union. Production increased at a
modest pace in both markets, in 2017. Expansion is predicted to continue at a
similar rate, in both places, this year.
In China, the annual growth rate in stainless steel
supply slowed, to 4.7 percent, in 2017, after years of rapidly increasing
output. Nevertheless, at 25.8 million tonnes, the country produced over 53
percent of the world’s crude stainless steel, last year. A further increment, of
around 4 percent, year-on-year, is forecast for 2018.
Stainless steel production continues to climb most
steeply in the “Others” category. India is becoming a major part of the global
supply chain, while a new facility in Indonesia, commissioned last year, will
also contribute significant tonnages, in the future.
Source: MEPS - Stainless