MEPS predicts that world crude stainless steel will reach an all-time high of 42.1 million tonnes in calendar year 2015. This would represent a 1.0 percent increase on the previous record figure, set last year. MEPS expects further moderate growth in global output in 2016. A new peak volume of 43 million tonnes is anticipated next year.
Worldwide production in the second quarter of this year turned out to be disappointing – particularly the outcomes in the United States, Japan and China. Consequently, output during the first six months was 0.75 percent less than in the same period in 2014. The year-on-year growth rate, during the second half of 2015, is expected to recover to around 2.8 percent.
Amongst the established stainless steelmaking regions, total output for 2015 is forecast to be higher than last year in the United States and South Korea but lower in Japan, Taiwan and the EU. Production in all these countries remains below the peak figures recorded in 2006.
Although the annual rate of growth, in China, has slowed from 14.3 percent, in 2014, to 2.0 percent, this year, the country’s dominance as the world’s largest producer of stainless steel continues to increase. China’s share of global output has risen from 18.5 percent in 2006 to an estimated 52.5 percent in 2015. Further moderate production growth of 1.8 percent, is predicted for next year.
Demand in the EU has been weak during the summer and is expected to remain mediocre through the final quarter. Year-on-year output is forecast to drop by 1.6 percent, to 7.125 million tonnes, in 2015. An increase of 150,000 tonnes is predicted for 2016.
Demand in the United States continues to recover, slowly. Stainless steel production is expected to total 2.4 million tonnes in 2015 – 0.5 percent more than last year. Output is predicted to climb by a further 2.1 percent, next year.
Japan’s 2015 outturn is foreseen at 3.125 million tonnes, representing a disappointing drop of 6.3 percent. MEPS forecast for 2016 is an improvement of 100,000 tonnes. South Korea’s estimated result is much more encouraging. The 2015 total is likely to be 7.8 percent higher than last year’s figure. A more moderate annual growth rate of 1.1 percent is envisaged for next year.
A slight decrease, of 0.7 percent, year-on-year, is forecast for Taiwan’s output in 2015. However, activity is expected to recover, in 2016, to give an annual growth rate of 4.5 percent.
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