Worldwide Crude Stainless Steel Production to Fall by 10% in 2020
Worldwide crude stainless steel production, in 2019, reached an all-time high total of more than 52.2 million tonnes. This represents an increase of almost 3 percent, compared with the year earlier figure.
Due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, MEPS forecasts that global output will decrease by approximately 10 percent, in 2020, to a total of around 46.8 million tonnes. This would be the lowest annual figure since 2016.
Market participants around the world reported a strong start to the year but, by March, both supply and demand were negatively affected. Stainless steel producers, stockists and end-users were forced to restrict or suspend their operations, either by government instructions or due to a lack of orders.
MEPS estimates that global crude stainless steel output, during the first three months of 2020, was down by around 9 percent, year-on-year.
Large cuts expected in Q2
The biggest cuts in production are expected to be recorded in the second quarter. Lockdown measures, to contain the spread of the coronavirus, have led to the temporary closure of many steelmaking facilities.
Elsewhere, output has been reduced, due to a combination of weak demand and disruption to raw material supplies. Worldwide production is, therefore, predicted to shrink by more than 20 percent, compared with the year earlier figure.
A gradual recovery, toward previously predicted output levels, is foreseen, during the second half of 2020, as more countries emerge from the constraints arising from the fight against Covid-19.