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Quarter 3 Stainless Steel Production Surprisingly Strong

Total production for the first three quarters was 26,1 Mt. This is 0,7 Mt more than in the same period of 2011. Total production for the quarter was 8,3 Mt – a new all-time high for a third quarter. However, there were big differences in the performance of the individual regions. In Asia (excluding China) stainless steel production decreased slightly by 0,2 % to 6,6 Mt. However, the growth rates of the individual stainless producing countries in Asia showed variations ranging from plus 5 % (India) to minus 4 % (Taiwan, China). China increased its stainless steel production in the first nine months of 2012 by 7,9 % to 11,4 Mt. The country now accounts for about 44 % of the world’s stainless steel production. At the same point in 2011, China’s market share was at about 42 %. After the first nine months of 2012, Asia (including China) accounts for almost 70 % of the world’s stainless steel production and this share is tending to increase. ISSF has made corrections to Chinese production figures for the entire year in order to accurately compare them with data from 2011. The change was made in accordance with information received from our Chinese source CSSC. Official corrections of the Chinese figures will be issued by CSSC. Western Europe/Africa now ranks as the world’s third largest stainless producing areas. After nine months of 2012 this region showed a slight increase of 0,7 % in stainless steel production. Total production was 6 Mt for the quarter. Within Europe, big production variations have been observed ranging from –11 % (Great Britain, Sweden, Germany) to +12 % (Finland). In the Americas region, stainless crude steel production decreased by 5,5 % to 1,8 Mt in the first three quarters of the year. Production in the Eastern Europe region showed a drop of 10,6 % to 0,3 Mt. Looking at the third quarter of 2012 individually, the level of stainless steel production is the highest for any third quarter. However, worldwide production was lower in the third quarter than in the previous three months. This is a normal seasonal variation. In Q3 2012, all major stainless producing areas have seen this contraction which is partially driven by lower demand from end users (Source: ISSF International Stainless Forum) (12/2012)


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