Record output

Global stainless output in 2002 will be the highest ever recorded, according to an article in Stainless Steel Review. The magazine estimates total stainless steel production in the Western world at 18.85 million tonnes in 2002. This equates to a rise of almost 0.9 million tonnes (4.9%) on last year’s figure and represents another record output for the industry. For 2003, consolidation is predicted, with only a modest improvement in overall output. Import volumes into the USA are likely to be lower. The 40% (700,000 tonnes) expansion in foreign supplies to China will, almost certainly, not be repeated. In fact, the growth in exports to these two countries account for the majority of the extra liquid steel manufactured in 2002.
No major expansion is predicted for the EU. In Japan the annual figure for 2002 is likely to be slightly down on the year before. A further modest cutback is anticipated for 2003.
Production in the USA is expected to exceed 2001 by 25%. In 2003 the volume will rise again, despite poor prospects for domestic consumption. South Korean demand is flat but is expected to move up slightly over the next twelve months. Production should also rise accordingly. Steelmaking in 2002 will be at a similar value to the previous year. Output in Taiwan for the period ending in December will rise by 15% compared with 2001. The output in 2003 will probably be little changed.. Stainless steelmaking in the Central/East European countries and China should expand gradually over the next 12 months.

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