According to a report released by the World Bureau of Metal Statistics (WBMS) on August 24, the global stainless steel slab production reached a record 52.4 million tons in 2019, an increase of 2.7% over 2018, of which Asian production continued to grow, accounting for the global production 80%.
In Asia, China’s stainless steel slab accounts for 70%, India’s production accounts for 10%, and the rest is mainly produced by Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Indonesia. In 2019, Asia produced nearly 42 million tons of stainless steel slabs, an increase of 6% year-on-year. Among them, China’s stainless steel slab output increased by 10% year-on-year, India and Indonesia’s output increased by about 5%, and Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, China’s output declined.
The production of stainless steel slabs in Europe, which has three major stainless steel producers (Acerinox, Outokumpu, and Amplan), fell by 8% year-on-year to 7 million tons, accounting for only 13% of the world’s total production. As the main stainless steel production area, the situation is far different. Stainless steel slab production in Belgium, Italy, Finland, Spain and Sweden accounted for most of Europe’s total production. In North America, only the United States produces stainless steel slabs, and its output decreased by 8% year-on-year to 2.6 million tons, accounting for 5% of the global share. In addition, the output of stainless steel slabs in South America was basically the same as in 2018, at 400,000 tons, accounting for 1%. The output of other regions in the world fell 17% year-on-year to 500,000 tons, accounting for the remaining 1%.
In terms of consumption of stainless steel products, Asia, especially China, also occupies a leading position in the consumption of stainless steel products. In 2019, stainless steel consumption in Asia increased by 10% year-on-year to 33.3 million tons, accounting for nearly three-quarters (74%) of total global consumption. Among the top four Asian consumer countries, China’s stainless steel consumption increased by 9% year-on-year, accounting for more than two-thirds of the total stainless steel consumption in Asia; India’s stainless steel consumption increased by 20% year-on-year, accounting for 10%; South Korea’s consumption year-on-year Increased by 2%, accounting for 4%; Japanese consumption fell by 6% year-on-year, accounting for 6%, and other Asian countries accounted for the remaining share.
Stainless steel consumption in Europe increased slightly by 1.4% year-on-year to 7.4 million tons, accounting for 17% of the global share. Germany, Italy and France are the major European consumers, accounting for 50% of the total. Among them, the consumption of stainless steel in Italy was basically flat, the consumption in Germany and France declined, and the consumption in other European countries increased. Stainless steel consumption in North America dropped by 6% year-on-year to 3.2 million tons, accounting for 7%, of which the United States accounted for 90% of consumption in the region. The consumption of stainless steel in South America was the same as in 2018, at 600,000 tons, accounting for only 1%, and consumption in other regions of the world was also the same year-on-year at 500,000 tons, accounting for the remaining 1%. In construction, transportation and other industries with high requirements for corrosion resistance, the use of stainless steel is on the rise.