Global – In the first three months of 2016, global stainless steel melt shop production edged up by 0.4% year on year to 10.26 million tonnes. The total was also 1.1% higher than the 10.152 million tonnes recorded for the final quarter of 2015, according to latest figures from the International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF).
Once again, China accounted for more than half of the world’s output. Compared to January-March last year, Chinese stainless steel melt shop production climbed 3.8% from 5.015 million tonnes to 5.203 million tonnes, although the total was 2.3% shy of the 5.324 million tonnes of October-December 2015.
For the rest of Asia excluding China, the year-on-year increase was a more modest 1.2% to 2.395 million tonnes whereas the quarter-over-quarter comparison confirmed a small increase of 0.4%. In contrast, the Americas witnessed a sharp 16.4% decline in stainless steel production from 768 000 tonnes in the opening three months of 2015 to 642 000 tonnes in this year’s corresponding period.
However, this latter figure was a significant 6.7% ahead of the 601 000 tonnes produced in the concluding three months of last year, the ISSF statistics reveal.
Similarly, the Western Europe/Africa region reported a drop-off in stainless steel melt shop production when comparing the opening quarters of 2015 and 2016, with a decline of 2.6% to 1.955 million tonnes. And yet, this total bettered the 1.78 million tonnes of last year’s final quarter by almost 10%.