MEPS forecasts that world crude stainless steel output will reach an all-time high of 51.75 million tonnes, in 2018. This would represent a 7.6 percent increase on the previous record figure, set last year. MEPS expects continued growth in global production, in 2019. A new peak volume of 54.2 million tonnes is forecast for next year.
China’s output, in 2018, is predicted to grow by more than 6 percent, year-on-year, to reach 27.35 million tonnes, or almost 53 percent of the global total. Further expansion, by around 5 percent, is anticipated, in 2019.
India & Indonesia
Crude stainless steel production in countries in the “Others” category is expected to increase by more than 1.7 million tonnes, or 33 percent this year. This is predominantly due to recently commissioned major developments in India and Indonesia. The rate of growth is expected to slow, as these plants reach their full output capacities.
Japan’s annual outturn is foreseen at 3.3 million tonnes, this year – an increase of over 4 percent, compared with the 2017 figure. Our forecast, for 2019, is for the addition of a further 100,000 tonnes.
In South Korea, growth of nearly 4 percent, to a total of 2.5 million tonnes, is anticipated for this calendar year. MEPS expects this rate of expansion to decline, to around 2 percent, next year, amidst strong regional competition.
Following a steep upturn in 2017, Taiwan’s output, this year, is forecast to plateau, at around 1.375 million tonnes. A similar figure is foreseen for 2019.
Protectionist trade actions, in the United States, have, so far, resulted in price inflation, rather than a substantial upturn in domestic stainless steel production. MEPS anticipates an increase of around 50,000 tonnes, year-on-year, in 2018. Further, moderate growth, of approximately 2 percent, is foreseen for next year.
In the European Union, safeguarding measures prevented a rapid expansion in third country imports, helping domestic producers to achieve a small predicted output increment, of around one percent, this year. Further, modest expansion, on a similar scale, is forecast for 2019.
Source: MEPS Stainless Steel Review