Stainless steel production remained stable in the first half of 2012 at 17.22-million tons – a slight year-on-year decrease of 0.2%, the International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) reported on Monday.
China increased its stainless steel production by 1.1% to 7.08-million tons in the first six months of the year, while the rest of Asia boosted output by 2.2% to 4.5-million tons.
There was a mixed performance by the individual Asian countries in the period under review, the ISSF stated. While Korea and India showed increased production volumes, stainless steel production decreased in Japan and Taiwan, China.
The Western Europe/Africa region also experienced shrinking development in stainless steel production during the first six months of 2012. Total production was 4.3-million tons, or 0.5% less than a year earlier.
Also in this area there was a split development showing production changes from plus 11% to minus 14% after the first half of 2012.
Production in the Eastern Europe region showed a drop of 9%, with less than 0.2-million tons, recurrently, on an almost negligible low volume level.
In the Americas region, stainless steel production decreased by 13.4% to one-million tons in the first half of the year.
Quarter-by-quarter comparison shows a more positive development of stainless steel melting activities, the ISSF reported. All regions, except Western Europe/Africa, showed increased melting volumes in the second quarter compared with the previous quarter.
China increased the stainless production quarter-on-quarter by 6.3%, while the rest of Asia showed quarter-on-quarter growth of 0.5%. The Americas reported a 0.9% increase , while Western Europe/Africa reduced production significantly by 6.9% quarter-on-quarter.
The globally achieved volume of 8.66-million tons was the highest ever achieved production level for a second quarter.