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Stainless Steel Production more than 40 % Increase

In Asia with China excluded, stainless steel production increased by 46 % to 4,3 Mt. All stainless steel producing countries significantly increased production in the first half of 2010. Growth rates were between 20 and 80 %. China increased the stainless steel production in the period of review by 35 % to 5,5 Mt. Western Europe/Africa reported a 49 % increase in stainless steel production during the first six months of 2010. Total production was 4,3 Mt in this period. In The Americas region, stainless crude steel production grew by 68 % to 1,4 Mt in the first half of the year. Production in the Eastern Europe region showed an increase of 63 %, with less than 0,2 Mt continuously on an almost negligible low volume level. Comparing quarter by quarter shows a different development of stainless steel melting activities. All regions – except the Americas – showed further increased melting volumes in quarter 2 compared to the previous quarter. Asia and China increased their production quarter on quarter by 2 % and 10 % respectively. EuroAfrica reported a 7 % increase in the same time. At the same time the Americas reduced production by 8 % quarter-on-quarter. The globally achieved volume of 8 Mt 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 with the average of 2009 due to the stronger development of the ferritics. The market share of chrome-manganese steels has increased somewhat due to the better domestic market demand in China. (09/2010)

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