Global stainless steel production in the 3rd Quarter 2013 remains strong Highest 3rd quarter of all time but different regional development

Brussels February 4rd, 2013 – Preliminary figures released by the International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) show that global stainless crude steel production increased by +5.5% for the first 9 months of 2013 y–o–y. Production for the first nine months of 2013 totaled 28 million metric tons (mmt), up 1.4 mmt in comparison to the same period of 2012. Production for the 3rd quarter 2013 was at 9.3 mmt, a new all–time 3rd quarter high. However significant differences in regional development prevail.

Asia excluding China recorded a stainless crude steel production of 6.5 mmt during quarters 1–3 of 2013 corresponding to a y–o–y decrease of -1.4%. The development of this region shows a mixed picture ranging from +5% (India) to -6% (Taiwan, China). In the PR of China stainless steel production increased by 1.9 mmt or +15.7% to 13.7 mmt during the first nine months in comparison to 2012. China now accounts for roughly half of global production.

The development of Western Europe/Africa was distinctly different with a y–o–y decrease of -5.6% (-0.336 mmt) and a total stainless steel production of 5.7 mmt for the first 9 months of 2013. Here too the development is heterogeneous fluctuating from +1 to +3% in Belgium and France to double digit negative values in Italy and Germany with the UK trailing behind at -15%.

Stainless steel production in the Americas for the first 3 quarters of 2013 is stable in comparison to last year at 1.8 mmt with an upward trend during this period. Central and Eastern Europe display a strong growth at +8% and 0.30 mmt, up from 0.27 mmt.

Table 1: Stainless and heat-resisting crude steel production [000 metric tons]

Region

9 Months

Full Year

2012

2013

+/- %

y-o-y

2011

2012

+/- %

y-o-y

Western Europe/Africa 6,031 5,695 -5.6 7,883 7,829 -0.7
Central/Eastern Europe 274 296 8.0 391 359 -8.2
The Americas 1,824 1,824 0.1 2,486 2,368 -4.7
Asia (w/o China) 6,579 6,487 -1.4 8,770 8,720 -0.6
China 11,812 13,664 15.7 14,091 16,087 14.2
World total 26,520 27,967 5.5 33,621 35,363 5.2

Source: International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF)

Q3 of 2013 was stronger than Q2 thus not following the usual seasonal pattern. In the face of regional economic developments which in general show a strong Q2 and weaker Q3 this is most likely a singular quarter on quarter compensational effect. Western Europe/Africa and Central and Eastern Europe are the exceptions displaying the usual seasonal downturn.

Table 2: Stainless and heat-resisting crude steel production [000 metric tons]

RegionQuarter 1Quarter 2Quarter 3
20122013+/- %
y-o-y
20122013+/- %
y-o-y
20122013+/- %
y-o-y
Western Europe/Africa 2,211 2,157 -2.5 2,065 1,951 -5.5 1,756 1,587 -9.6
Central/Eastern Europe 87 94 7.8 98 114 16.5 90 89 -1.0
The Americas 607 598 -1.5 613 597 -2.7 603 630 4.4
Asia (w/o China) 2,226 2,170 -2.5 2,236 2,149 -3.9 2,118 2,168 2.4
China 3,790 4,404 16.2 4,006 4,414 10.2 4,015 4,845 20.7
World total 8,922 9,423 5.6 9,017 9,224 2.3 8,582 9,320 8.6

Source: International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF)

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Published: 04/02/2014
Last modified: 04/02/2014

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