Worldwide crude stainless steel production, in 2016, reached an all-time high total of nearly 45.8 million tonnes. This represents an increase of more than 10 percent, compared with the year earlier figure. MEPS predicts that global output will grow by around 3.75 percent, in 2017, to achieve a new record high mark of around 47.5 million tonnes.
Outturn in all of the long-established stainless steelmaking countries increased, year-on-year, in 2016, after most had recorded a contraction in the previous twelve months. Production continued to grow, strongly, in China and in the developing nations.
Despite earlier expectations that stainless steel output growth, in China, would slow down, rapid expansion continued, in 2016. The country’s official annual total was reported at nearly 25 million tonnes – an increase of more than 15 percent, compared with the previous year. This equates to almost 55 percent of the world aggregate figure. With antidumping measures, in many countries, restricting global exports, China has recently made moves to curb its rate of expansion.
After a slight dip, in 2015, production in the United States returned to its trend of robust growth, increasing by more than 6 percent, last year, to total around 2.5 million tonnes. MEPS predicts that output will expand by a further 2 percent, in 2017.
Crude stainless steel production recovered strongly, in Taiwan, in 2016 – increasing by almost 14 percent, year-on-year, to exceed 1.25 million tonnes, for the first time since 2010. More moderate growth is forecast for this year.
Annual outturn advanced by between one and two percent, in the EU, Japan and South Korea, last year. Further, steady expansion, of a similar magnitude, is foreseen, in these markets, in 2017.