Posted on 15/03/2010 in category Stainless

By Michael G. Wright
Chief Operating Officer, ELG Haniel GmbH
Chairman of the BIR Stainless Steel & Special Alloys Committee

BIR Stainless Steel World Mirror April available

Back in October last year at our meeting in Amsterdam we were all discussing the anticipated decrease in stainless steel production and reduced demand for stainless steel scrap for 2009. The year finished with a substantial reduction in global production from 26.4m tonnes to a low level of 23.5m tonnes. All areas suffered from this fall apart from China which enjoyed an increase of 15% as a result of the Beijing stimulus package.

Inevitably, the steep drop in production of stainless steel resulted in reduced demand for raw materials. However, this was countered by the global slump in availability of stainless scrap that fell by over 10% to 6.8m tonnes. It was not until well into the second half of 2009 that we saw any pick-up in demand for scrap - and it was still unclear as to whether this was due to an actual increase in finished products or merely to a replenishment of the supply chain.

As we headed into 2010, the signs of improvement were sufficient to suggest that global output could jump by up to 4m tonnes during the year, thus indicating production levels of over 27m tonnes and a possible recovery to 2007 levels.

Read the full report on our members only pages.