Zhong Shaoliang, chief representative of the World Steel Association Beijing Representative Office, said at a forum on the 15th that China’s stainless steel output is expected to rise to 60% or more of the world this year, continuing to maintain its position as the world’s number one.
2020 China Stainless Steel and Special Alloy New Material Industry High-end Forum was held on the 15th in Yancheng City, Jiangsu Province. Zhong Shaoliang pointed out that, overall, the development of the world’s stainless steel industry depends on Asia, because Asian stainless steel production accounts for 71% of the world; and the development of the Asian industry depends on China, because China’s stainless steel output accounts for about 80% of Asia.
He pointed out that steel production and demand in other countries have declined, and stainless steel companies have reduced production. However, China’s economy has taken the lead to recover.
Li Xinchuang, Secretary of the Party Committee and Chief Engineer of the Metallurgical Industry Planning and Research Institute, agreed with this judgment. He pointed out that China’s stainless steel production reached 29.4 million tons in 2019, which is 2.6 times that of 2010 and accounted for 56.3% of global production. This year this proportion is expected to rise to about 60%.
Although it has been the world’s largest producer for many years, experts believe that the steel industry still faces many challenges.
Taking stainless steel as an example, Li Xinchuang pointed out that both nickel and chromium resources, the main raw materials for stainless steel production in China, are highly dependent on imports. Among them, nickel ore is dependent on foreign sources exceeding 80%; chrome ore is restricted by domestic resource conditions, and its dependence on foreign sources is close to 100%. This has led to weak resource protection in the stainless steel industry and is vulnerable to price shocks in the international market.
And China still has a large potential demand for stainless steel on the consumer side. Li Xinchuang said that at present, China’s per capita consumption of stainless steel is 17 kilograms, which is much lower than that of developed countries such as Germany, Japan, and Italy (25-45 kilograms per capita). It is predicted that by 2025, China’s stainless steel demand will reach about 30 million tons.
In order to ensure the safety of the industrial chain, Li Xinchuang suggested to increase resource exploration in the country and maximize production capacity; at the same time, encourage active “going out” and expand the scale of rights and interests; in addition, establish a chromium and nickel ore reserve system as soon as possible to ensure chromium, Long-term safe supply of nickel resources.