SteelOrbis - According to preliminary figures released by the International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF), global stainless steel crude steel production surged in 2010, rising by 24.9 percent year on year to reach 30.7 million mt.
Following three years of declining stainless steel production caused by stock cycles and global economic crises, in 2010 all major regions showed significantly higher production volumes.
In Asia with China excluded, stainless steel production increased by 20.8 percent to 8.6 million mt. All Asian stainless steel producers combined now account for 65 percent of the entire world's stainless steel production.
Western Europe/Africa reported a 22.1 percent year on year increase in stainless steel production in 2010. Total production was 7.9 million mt in this period.
In the Americas region, stainless crude steel production grew by 34.4 percent to 2.6 million mt in 2010. Central and Eastern Europe's production achieved a clearly above-average increase of 43.6 percent, rising to 0.3 million mt - still almost negligible in the global context.
|Stainless and heat resisting crude steel production (x 1,000 metric tons)|
|Region||Full year||y-o-y change (%)||Full year||y-o-y change (%)|
|Asia (without China)||8,068||7,130||-11.6||7,130||8,611||20.8|
Comparing the performances of the single quarters of 2010 with the same quarters of 2009 shows very different growth rates during the year, clearly reflecting the improvement in global development in course of the year 2010 and the heavy re-stocking in the first part of the year. Q1 (up 57.8 percent) and Q2 (up 33.1 percent) were clearly driven by stocking activity, compared with the same quarters in 2009 in which depressed business activity in stainless steel was recorded. Q3, however, already showed signs of a return to normality with a plus of 5.3 percent. Finally, Q4 showed a surprisingly strong increase of 14.1 percent in stainless steel production compared to Q4 2009, achieving an all-time high for a fourth quarter. This is partially due to the expected further improvement in the global economy in 2011.