Production during the second half of 2013 exceeded earlier predictions. Nevertheless, the outturn in South Korea, EU and Japan was lower than in 2012. Output in Taiwan and the United States recovered somewhat, to achieve figures estimated to be more than 2% higher than in the previous twelve months. However, production in all of these established stainless steel making countries and regions remains significantly below the peak figures achieved in 2006.
The growth of Chinese production will, inevitably, slow from the rapid rate of recent years. We do anticipate, though, that output will continue to climb by 6.8% in 2014 – faster than anywhere else – to reach 19.3 million MT. This would represent almost 50% of global stainless steel production.
The annual total global crude stainless steel production for 2013 is estimated to have reached an all-time high of 37.3 million MT. This surpasses the previous record mark, set in 2012, by 5.5%. MEPS forecasts that worldwide output will increase by a further 4.6% in 2014, to a new peak figure of 39 million MT.
Output in the countries classed as “Others” is forecast to grow by 3.5%, this year, to total 3.725 million MT.
After slipping by between 2 and 3% in 2013, the outturn in both South Korea and Taiwan is forecast to increase by a similar amount, this year, to achieve figures of 2.125 million MT and 1.1 million MT, respectively – close to the numbers recorded in 2012.
Production in the United States is expected to exhibit further, moderate growth of around 1.2% in 2014, reaching an annual outturn of 2.05 million MT.