The International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) has announced that stainless crude steel production in the first quarter of 2005 was 6.5 million metric tons (mmt). This is a rise of 7.4% compared to the same period in 2004.
Growth was strongest in the Asia region with production reaching 3.3 mmt in the first quarter. This is 14.2% higher than for the first quarter of 2004. Driving forces were China and India, where new capacities are in the commissioning phase. South Korea and Taiwan, China also showed strong growth rates. Production in Japan was flat.
Stainless steel production in the Western Europe/Africa region was 2.4 mmt in the first quarter of 2005. This is 2.6% higher than for the same period of 2004. The increase compensates for the losses in the first quarter of 2004 when the region was hit by bad weather conditions and strikes in some mills.
Production in the Americas declined by 1.1% to 0.7 million tons in the first quarter of 2005. This is partly explained by the cessation of stainless crude steel production in Canada.
Production also fell in the Central and Eastern Europe region. Production was 55,000 metric tons in the quarter, a drop of 21.1% compared to the first quarter of 2004.
ISSF expects global stainless steel production to grow by 5% to 25.8 mmt in 2005.