Stainless Steel growth to continue

The International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) is forecasting another year of growth for global stainless steel production. The forecast, released during ISSF’s Annual Conference in Seoul, shows that stainless steel production is expected to reach 24.4 million metric tonnes (mmt) in 2004. This represents a rise of 6.8% on 2003 production. In 2003, worldwide stainless crude steel production rose by 10.4% to 22.8 mmt. This was on top of a rise in production of 7.8% (to 20.7 mmt) in 2002. Asia is now the largest stainless steel producing area in the world. The second largest region in stainless steel melting is Western Europe/Africa. Eastern Europe is currently showing a strong increase in consumption of stainless steel. However, local production will not be able to meet this demand. ISSF believes that the growth for stainless steel production will decrease slightly in 2005 compared to 2004. The expected increase in 2004, well above the long-term average, includes a certain, and necessary, stock build at stainless steel service centres and fabricators. This trend could reverse in 2005 under the impression of a slowdown in major economies

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