Stainless production up on last year

Stainless steel production in the western world this year will exceed the 2001 figure by more than 600,000 tonnes (3.3%), according to Stainless Steel Review (September 2002). Production in 2002 will also be marginally above the previous peak value achieved in the first 12 months of this millennium. Steelmaking in the EU expanded by 5.75% in the first half relative to the January to June term in 2001. However, this high rate is not expected to continue for the full year. Japanese production is starting to pick up at last, with mills operating near to maximum output in recent months. A 15% increase in output is anticipated in the USA this year, with imports being held in check and likely to decrease further as the year progresses. Taiwanese stainless production is also set to rise once again this year after the setback in 2001. Growth in demand in China and the rest of Asia has helped to create a better environment for supply.Stainless output has also been expanding this year in India, South Africa and the non EU producers in Western Europe. For the first nine months, the mills in these countries also benefited from the rise in consumption in China.

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