MEPS expects global crude stainless steel output for 2010 to have reached an all-time high total of 30.45 million tonnes, 7.4 percent more than the previous record figure from 2006.
Overall worldwide production for last year is expected to equate to an increase of nearly 24 percent over 2009, which represented the low point of the recent global slump. Another record outturn of over 31 million tonnes is forecast in 2011.
Activity in the EU increased in the last three months of the year, driven by manufacturing in Germany, Sweden and Poland, to finish the year at an estimated 25 percent more than in 2009.
The annual total stainless production in the United States in 2010 is now expected to be almost 40 percent up on the outturn in 2009, which marked the bottom of a very deep slump. However, it is still down on the 2006 peak.
Japanese output is estimated to increase by nearly 27 percent, compared with the tonnage produced in 2009. South Korean activity picked up during the second half of 2010 to finish the year on a preliminary total of 2 million tonnes.
Chinese stainless production is expected to be over 11 million tonnes in 2010 – more than double the output in 2006. In Taiwan, the slump of 2008 and 2009 was not as severe as in some western markets. Consequently, 2010’s estimated total output was only 16 percent higher than the previous year.