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Pandemic to bite 5.6 million tonnes from steel markets

The current pandemic is likely to reduce the global stainless steel market by 12% this year, analysts suggest.

Austria’s special steel consultancy SMR expects the coronavirus pandemic to continue to cut into stainless steel production because of widespread partial or total plant shutdowns. It expects much more significant reductions on the demand side. ‘Both short- and medium-term production will have to be adjusted to the new demand reality,’ SMR says.

After a detailed analysis of 78 stainless steel end-use segments, SMR came to the conclusion that the pandemic will reduce demand by 5.6 million tonnes in 2020 (compared to a pre-Covid-19 baseline forecast) and another 0.8 million tonnes in 2021. Regions will be affected differently this year, with Europe and North America expected be the hardest hit with a decline of around 15% while China is likely to see a fall of 8%.

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