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Stainless Steel Production to Grow to 54 million tons in 2021

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by Beroe Inc
8 August 2021


The global stainless steel market production is expected to grow to 54 million tons in 2021 with an improvement in economic activity and stainless steelmaking capacity in parallel, especially in Indonesia that's forecast to have a greater output than many developed nations.

Stainless steel market trends suggest how supply remained constricted in 2020 owing to a lack of demand. Now with the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic gradually waving away from markets, demand is expected to reach pre-pandemic times. Since not many people will be inclined to travel, the demand for consumer goods is likely to rise. Steel distributors and suppliers believe that the demand for luxury items like appliances and automobiles will be on the rise, thus, prompting production in the global stainless steel industry and consequent supply of the metal. However, the supply-demand gap of stainless steel would widen in 2021 owing to factors like high alloy surcharges along with a tightened supply of the metal.

An assessment of stainless steel market trends highlights reduced global stainless steel industry production, roughly by five percent in 2020 compared to production in 2019 to 51 million tons. The stainless steel market trend shows a drop in metal production in most countries except Indonesia and China owing to quick recovery from the Covid-19 virus. The steel supply in China and Indonesia rose by 2.5 and 15.5 percent respectively compared to the mill output in 2019. 

The drop in stainless steel market output was, however, not so pronounced in India that continues as the world’s second-largest steel producer despite the complete shutdown of the industry owing to pandemic-induced lockdown in the June quarter of 2020. To cater to the existing demand, the European stainless steel industry imported steel from developing countries. The steel industry suffered an unprecedented setback in 2020 owing to the high level of imports despite the anti-dumping duties on stainless steel hot rolled from China, Indonesia, and Taiwan imposed by the European Union in April 2020.

Stainless steel market trends suggests lower demand for metal products due to worldwide, regional, and national economic conditions. Figures show the worldwide market size production in 2020 reaching up to 2.4 MMT as opposed to global demand and consumption being limited to 3.1 MMT in the same year. Comparatively, there is an increased level of industrial investment activity with industrial production assuming pre-pandemic levels in 2021. 

End users are recovering from the effects of the virus with the stainless steel market resuming production. However, this increased manufacture and subsequent supply are in stark contrast to the reduced demand in the industrial and heavy industry, as well as low interest in the purchase and use of the metal in chemical, petrochemical, consumer goods, and medical industries.

The Covid-19 impact on the global stainless steel industry was quite noticeable, especially, in early 2020. Supply constraints put immense pressure on the industry, thus, increasing its prices. Unstable supply coupled with continued demand for production of necessary items resulted in declining inventories and an extended delivery period of 12-16 weeks.

Key Findings:

  • The imposition of tariffs and lack of imports at low prices are adding to raw materials costs.

  • Stainless steel prices are likely to be affected by higher alloy charges.

  • China's output of stainless steel 300 series increased by 6.58 percent touching 14 MMT in 2020.

  • The imbalance in supply and demand of stainless steel flat products in the U.S. will intensify in the coming months.

  • Consumer goods demand is expected to rise, which positively reinforces the end assessment of stainless steel.

  • Significant logistical disruptions are expected to affect the steel supply.


Recommended Reads:

Stainless Steel Suppliers

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