The International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) expects global stainless crude steel production for 2007 to reach 29,8-million tons, the organisation said this week.
The forecasted growth, which represented a 5,1 % increase over 2006 production, took into account the high level of supply that occurred in many countries during 2006 and caused a significant build-up of stainless steel stock.
The ISSF expected that stainless crude steel production in 2007, would be higher than the record-level of production in 2006, mostly driven by recovery from 2005 and some restocking.
Production in Western Europe and Africa was expected to decline by 2,7% to 9,7-million tons in 2007, owing to stock corrections and stronger material inflow from Asia.
The region, hit by voluntary production losses in the second half of 2005, had been more than compensated in 2006 when production increased by 13,4% to 10-million tons.
During 2006, Asia, the world’s largest stainless steel producing area, showed the strongest increased stainless steel production by almost 21%.
The ISSF expected further high growth of some 12% in 2007, to almost 16,9-million tons.
In 2006, all Asian countries except South Korea contributed to the growth in production, with China, in 2007, expected to be the driving force followed by India.
China would continue to expand its stainless steel melting activities, with significant new-capacity projects in the start-up phase, the ISSF said in a statement released on Tuesday.
For the Americas region, ISSF expected a decrease in stainless steel production in 2007 of 3,4% to 2,9-million tons. In 2006 the region increased stainless crude steel production by nearly 10% to almost 3-million tons.