China drives global stainless steel output to 2014 record

A jump in stainless steel output in top producer China drove global production to another record high last year, outstripping demand growth and weighing on prices, an industry report showed on Tuesday.

Global stainless steel output rose 8.3 percent last year to a record 41.7 million tonnes, with output gains in all regions except central and eastern Europe, according to the International Stainless Steel Sheet Forum (ISSF).

China, which produces about half the world’s stainless steel, saw output jump 14 percent year-on-year to 21.7 million tonnes, while the Americas saw output jump 15 percent to 2.8 million tonnes.

China’s 14 percent output growth rate was lower than last year’s 18 percent rate, but it was still enough to keep stainless steel prices depressed ST-CRUSTL-IDX.

Global prices are are at their lowest since last March, and not far off a 4 year low hit in August 2013.

Output in Asia excluding China rose by just 0.6 percent to 9.3 million tonnes, while output in Western Europe rose 1 percent to 7.6 million tonnes. Output in central and eastern Europe fell 0.6 percent to 277,000 tonnes.

Posted in Industry.