SARS threatens stainless demand in Asia

The outbreak of SARS has become a concern to suppliers of stainless steel too. The outbreak’s seriousness forced China to cancel an international stainless meeting due to have been held in Shanghai in mid-May. There were signs that the Chinese stainless market had peaked even before the severity of SARS became apparent. There are two schools of thought about what might happen when quotas are reopened at the end of May. The import boom may restart. Or international demand for Chinese goods containing stainless steel might have weakened, persuading the main component suppliers to run down their stocks rather than place large new buying orders. The SARS outbreak will almost certainly slow down Chinese economic activity. But in the case of stainless the fundamentals are so strong that any setback should be only temporary.

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