Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Brussels, 25 September 2012 - Preliminary figures released by the International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) show that stainless steel crude steel production has been stable in the first half of 2012 with a slight decrease of just 0.2% compared to the same period of 2011. Total production for the first six months of 2012 was 17.2 million metric tons (mmt). Please note that ISSF has made some amendments for the Chinese figure for 2011 in order to provide a better comparability.
In Asia with China excluded, stainless steel production increased by 2.2% to 4.5 million tons. There was a mixed performance of the individual Asian countries in the period of review: While Korea and India showed increased production volumes the stainless crude steel production decreased in Japan and Taiwan, China. China increased the stainless steel production in the period of review by 1.1% (after corrections made by ISSF) to 7.1 mmt.
Western Europe/Africa experienced a slightly shrinking development in stainless steel production during the first six months of 2012. Total production was 4.3 mmt (minus 0.5%) in this period. Also in this area there was a split development showing production changes from plus 11% to minus 14% after the first six months of 2012.
In The Americas region, stainless crude steel production decreased by 13.4%% to 1.0 million tons in the first half of the year. Production in the Eastern Europe region showed a drop of 9%, with now less than 0.2 mmt continuously on an almost negligible low volume level.
Table 1: Stainless and heat-resisting crude steel production (in ‘000 metric tons)
Stainless and Heat Resisting Crude Steel Production (in '000 mt)
RegionQuarter+/- %1. Half Year+/- %
Western Europe/Africa2,2142,062-6.94,2974,276-0.5
Eastern Europe879812.3203184-9.0
The Americas6076130.91,3771,220-11.3
Asia (w/o China)2,2262,2360.54,3734,4622.0
Total World8,5678,6571.117,25417,224-0.2
Source: International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF)
Comparing quarter by quarter shows a more positive development of stainless steel melting activities. All regions – except Western Europe/Africa – showed increased melting volumes in quarter 2 compared to the previous quarter. China increased the stainless production quarter on quarter by 6.3%. Asia showed a q-o-q growth by 0.5%, The Americas reported a 0.9% increase at the same time. EuroAfrica reduced production significantly by 6.9% q-o-q. The globally achieved volume of 8.66 mmt is the highest ever achieved production level for a second quarter.

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