By Paul Ploumis
SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): MEPS International Ltd, a leading consultancy service firm serving the steel industry, has stated that global stainless steel production will likely hit life-time highs during 2016. The output will further expand during 2017 to hit new peak, noted MEPS.
According to MEPS, the global crude stainless steel output is projected to touch new highs during this year. As per MEPS estimates, the yearly output is likely to total 43.3 million tonnes during 2016. This represents a 4.2% growth year-on-year. The world stainless steel production had totaled 41.55 million tonnes in 2015. Also, the output will report further growth in 2017. The agency forecasts the output to touch 45 million tonnes during next year.
The global output during Q2 this year was very much in line with earlier estimates, observed MEPS. However, the output by China exceeded the forecast during the quarter. The Chinese output totaled 6.526 million tonnes, significantly higher by 25.4% when matched with the output of 5.203 million tonnes during Q1 2016. The half-yearly output by the country increased modestly by 7.9% year-on-year to 11.729 million tonnes during the initial six-month period of 2016. The stainless steel production by China had totaled 10.867 million mt during Jan-June ’15.
The total stainless steel output during the six months of 2016 amounted to 22.067 million metric tons, higher by 4.1% when compared with the output of 21.202 million mt during Jan-June ‘15. According to MEPS, the year-on-year growth rate during the second half of the current year is expected to remain at around 4%.
The stainless steel production by the EU region, the USA, Japan and South Korea are likely to remain lower in 2016 when compared with 2015. Although the half-yearly production has registered moderate increase in Taiwan, the full year production by the country in 2016 is expected to be around three-fourths of the peak stainless steel production reported in year 2006.
The Chinese production is expected to grow by 7% in 2016. The country, which had reported decline in stainless steel production in 2015, has shown signs of recovery during the first half of the current year. The Chinese share of global stainless steel production is expected to rise to around 53% in 2016. This is significantly higher when matched with the share of 18.5% in 2006. Over the past ten years, China has almost tripled its share of global output. The country’s share is likely to grow by another 5% in 2017, said MEPS.
According to MEPS, the EU stainless steel demand is likely to remain flat during 2016 and 2017. It predicts the total production by the region at 7.15 million tonnes, marginally lower when matched with 2015. The output is estimated to increase marginally by 50,000 tonnes in 2017.
The stainless steel consumption by the US is expected to remain flat in 2016. MEPS forecasts 2% decline in production by the Americas during 2016. However, the production is likely to recover in 2017 to hit the 2015 levels. The Americas had recorded production of 2.747 million tonnes during the entire year 2015. The stainless steel output by the Americas has declined significantly by 6.2% during the initial six-month period of the year to 1.363 million mt. This is when matched with the production of 1.453 million mt during the corresponding six-month period last year.
The Japanese stainless steel output is estimated to total around 3.05 million tonnes in 2016, marginally down by 0.4% over the previous year. The output may see a jump of 50,000 tonnes in 2017. South Korea too may report 1% decline in output in 2016, followed by 2% growth next year. Taiwan is expected to record 12% surge in stainless steel output in 2016. The output may further rise by another 4% in 2017.