The ISSF said that this never-before-seen magnitude of stainless steel production growth reflects a clear base effect after the dramatically decreased production in the first half of 2009 due to the worldwide economic crisis, due to a much stronger and quicker than anticipated recovery of the global economy, a strong restocking business - partially combined with speculative buying, and a re-filling of the mill-internal supply-chain.
In Asia with China excluded, stainless steel production increased by 46 percent to 4.3 million tons. All stainless steel producing countries significantly increased production in the first half of 2010. Growth rates varied between 20 and 80 percent. China increased its stainless steel production in the period of review by 35 percent to 5.5 million metric tons.
Western Europe/Africa reported a 49 percent increase in stainless steel production during the first six months of 2010. Total production was 4.3 million metric tons in this period.
In the Americas region, stainless crude steel production grew by 68 percent to 1.4 million metric tons in the first half of the year. Production in the Eastern Europe region showed an increase of 63 percent, with less than 200,000 metric tons.
Year-on-year change (%)
Quarter-on-quarter change (%)
Asia (excl. China)
(x 1,000 metric tons)
Comparing the second quarter of this year with the first one shows a different development of stainless steel melting activities. All regions - except the Americas - showed further increased melting volumes in the second quarter, compared to the previous quarter. Asia and China increased their production quarter on quarter by two percent and 10 percent respectively. Western Europe/Africa reported a seven percent increase in the same time. At the same time, the Americas reduced production by eight percent quarter on quarter. The globally achieved volume of eight million metric tons is an all-time-high production level.
The split by main stainless steel grades has seen a recovered market share of ferritic steels. This clearly reflects the strong production recovery in the global automotive industry. The market share of austenitic CrNi stainless steels has slightly decreased from the average of 2009 due to the stronger development of ferritics. The market share of chrome-manganese steels has increased somewhat due to the better domestic market demand in China.
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