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News

Global stainless steel production to top 25 million tonnes this year

MEPS (International) : 01 April, 2005  (New Product)
MEPS (International) forecasts global stainless crude steel output in 2005 at 25.3 million tonnes - up from 24.4 million tonnes a year earlier. This equates to an increase of 3.7 percent. We expect this year to be one of consolidation after the 7.3 percent rise in 2004 versus 2003.
MEPS (International) forecasts global stainless crude steel output in 2005 at 25.3 million tonnes - up from 24.4 million tonnes a year earlier. This equates to an increase of 3.7 percent. We expect this year to be one of consolidation after the 7.3 percent rise in 2004 versus 2003.

Western World stainless steel manufacturing is likely to reach 22.4 million tonnes this year - 3 percent above the 2004 outturn. Over the past twelve months the markets in the industrialised nations have been oversupplied. This has led to basis price reductions in the EU and United States.

We anticipate an inventory drawdown by customers over the next few months in the latter two regions. Buyers are expected to re-evaluate their stock levels and regulate purchases more in line with current works order requirements. This will restrict increases in stainless output to smaller percentages than in the recent past. Moreover, export volumes from the EU to China are likely to be lower.

Japanese supply appears to have stabilised at around 4 million tonnes per annum after rationalisation in the industry of late. We predict a no change situation this year. Growth in Taiwanese output is expected to be modest in 2005. After heavy investment in South Korea, we believe that production levels will settle at around 2.5 million tonnes per year into the near term.

In the 'others' category, Brazilian, Indian and South African supply should all improve - resulting in total output of 2.85 million tonnes this year.

Chinese stainless melted production is forecast to expand by 300,000 tonnes in 2005 as recently installed capacity is brought up to full potential and new plants are started up. No substantial increase is predicted from manufacturers in the former USSR.

Source: MEPS - Stainless Steel Review
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