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World Stainless Production Shrinks Slightly in First Quarter

The International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) has released preliminary data which shows that stainless steel production shrank by 2.8% in the first three months of 2012. Total production was 8.6 million metric tonnes (Mt) for the quarter, down from 8.8 Mt in the corresponding period of 2011. All areas showed a decrease in production in the year-on-year comparison.

The biggest decrease appears to be in the Americas region with a 22% drop in production during Q1 2012 compared to the same period last year. Total production is reported to be 0.6 Mt. However, there are some discrepancies in US stainless crude steel production statistics which ISSF is investigating. China also showed a decline in production of 1.2% to 3.4 Mt compared to the first quarter of 2011. As noted in the table below, CSSC has changed its reporting parameters, leading to some uncertainty about the actual level of production in China.

Table 1: Stainless crude steel production (in ‘000 metric tons)

Region

Quarter

Q-o-Q +/- %

First quarter

Y-o-Y
  +/- %

Q4/2011

Q1/2012 (p)

2011

2012 (p)

Western Europe/Africa

1,898

2,210

16.5

2,216

2,210

-0.3

Central and Eastern Europe

84

76

-9.8

89

76

-14.8

The Americas

557

607

9.0

779

607

-22.0

Asia (excluding China)

2,177

2,226

2.3

2,238

2,226

-0.6

China1

3,615

3,433

-5.0

3,476

3,433

-1.2

World total

8,331

8,552

2.7

8,799

8,552

-2.8

12.06.2012 / http://www.worldstainless.org/

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