Record Global Stainless Steel Production Forecast for 2019 & 2020

31st October 2019

MEPS forecasts that world crude stainless steel output will reach an all-time high of 52.1 million tonnes, in 2019. This would represent an increase of 3 percent, compared with the previous record figure, set last year. MEPS expects continued growth in global production, in 2020. A new peak volume of 54.2 million tonnes is predicted for next year.

China’s output continues to expand, substantially.  The country’s outturn, in 2019, is forecast to grow by more than 6 percent, year-on-year, to reach 28.3 million tonnes, or over 54 percent of the global total. A further increase, of around 5 percent, is anticipated, next year.

Stainless steel production, in India, is expected to record steady annual growth, of more than 3 percent, to achieve a total of around 3.875 million tonnes, this year. A similar rate of expansion is predicted, in 2020.

While safeguarding measures have been used to prevent an increase in imports, into the European Union, local demand is weak and export opportunities are limited. Consequently, the region’s crude stainless steel output is forecast to shrink, by around 6 percent, year-on-year, in 2019, to 6.95 million tonnes. Minimal growth is expected, next year.

Domestic consumption has slowed, significantly, in the United States. This year’s crude stainless steel outturn is forecast to be around 3 percent lower than the 2018 figure, at 2.725 million tonnes. A moderate increase, of about 2 percent, is foreseen, in 2019.

Excess worldwide production capacity, protectionist trade restrictions and mediocre home demand are contributing to reduced output in the established stainless steelmaking countries of the Far East. This year’s outturn is predicted to fall by around 4 percent, in South Korea, while Japan and Taiwan are each expected to record year-on-year cuts of around 10 percent, in 2019. Moderate recoveries are anticipated, in all these countries, next year.