CHINA November 02 2016 1:38 PM
LONDON (Scrap Register): MEPS predicts that world crude stainless steel output will reach an all-time high of 43.3 million tonnes in calendar year 2016. This would represent a 4.2 percent increase on the previous record figure, set last year. MEPS expects further growth in global production in 2017. A new peak volume of 45 million tonnes is forecast for next year.
Worldwide outturn during the second quarter was, largely, in line with our previous estimate, except in China, where the recently published figure exceeds the total previously foreseen, for the second quarter. Consequently, global output during the first six months was 4 percent more than in the same period in 2015. The year-on-year growth rate is expected to remain at this level during the second half of 2016.
Amongst the established stainless steel making regions, total output in 2016 is forecast to be slightly lower than last year in the EU, United States, Japan and South Korea. Production in Taiwan has recovered substantially, in the first half of this year, but the projected annual total will only reach around 72 percent of the country’s peak figure, recorded in 2006.
After a marginal reduction in output in 2015, Chinese production has picked up, this year, with an estimated annual growth rate of nearly 7 percent. The country’s dominance as the world’s largest producer of stainless steel continues to increase. China’s share of global output has risen from 18.5 percent in 2006 to a predicted 53.2 percent in 2016. Further expansion, of around 5 percent, is foreseen for next year.
Demand in the EU has been quite flat. The level of production has fluctuated very little, in the past three years. Total output, for 2016, is predicted to be marginally down on the 2015 figure, at 7.15 million tonnes. An annual increase of just 50,000 tonnes is predicted for 2017.
Consumption in the United States is also steady. Stainless steel production is expected to total 2.3 million tonnes in 2016 – around 2 percent less than last year. However, output is predicted to return to the 2015 level, next year.
Japan’s 2016 outturn is foreseen at 3.05 million tonnes, representing a reduction of 0.4 percent. Our forecast for 2017 is an increase of 50,000 tonnes. South Korea’s estimated results show a similar pattern. The 2016 total is likely to be around one percent lower than last year’s figure. A moderate annual growth rate of around 2 percent is envisaged for next year.
Following better-than-expected figures for the first half of this year, a substantial increase, of over 12 percent, is forecast for Taiwan’s output in 2016. Further steady growth, at a rate of around 4 percent, year-on-year, is expected in 2017.