China consumes more stainless

China has become world’s largest consumer of stainless steel, overtaking the USA and Japan, according to professor Li Cheng, executive vice president of the China Stainless Steel Council. Li said that China’s conspicuous consumption of stainless steel in 2001 was about 2.25 million tons, while conspicuous consumption in the USA was 2 million tons and in Japan 1.5 to 1.6 million tons. China’s consumption of stainless steel has been growing at an average rate of 17 percent for the past 10 years, while the world’s average growth rate has been 4–7%. In 2000, however, China’s per capita stainless steel consumption was only 1.4 kg, while the world’s per head consumption was 4 kg. The output in 2001 was about 700 thousand tons, but at the same time 1.6 million tons worth USD 2.2 billion was imported. China is expanding its stainless steel production capacity, which will reach 3 million tons per year in 5 years. The stainless steel industry will by then be 80% self-sufficient.

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