Indonesia's stainless steel production growth rate continues to surpass that of India, driving global stainless steel production growth.
This year, Indonesia's production has soared. During the current 12-month period, the country’s steel mills are expected to produce more than 4.5 million tons. Therefore, Indonesia will surpass India to become the world's second largest stainless steel producer.
In China, government directives issued in the first half of 2021 to restrict melting activities have subsequently been more strictly enforced. Due to coal shortages, the October electricity ration further cut production. In addition, the crisis of the Chinese real estate company Evergrande has had a negative impact on steel consumption in the construction industry.
It is expected that the output of China's Taiwan region this year will expand to 925,000 tons. An industrial fire at a large rolling mill on the island failed to reduce shipments in the third quarter. Boosted by excellent financial performance, stainless steel manufacturers in Japan and South Korea will increase annual smelting activities by more than 20% and 12%, respectively.
India's stainless steel production declined in the second quarter of 2021. After China’s electricity curtailment policy was eased in the third quarter, rolling mills are believed to have increased production to meet the recovering end-user demand.
European stainless steel production is expected to reach 7.06 million tons. The severe weather in the middle of this year will have a smaller impact on steel production than originally envisaged. In addition, European rolling mills reported all orders. Therefore, the output data for the fourth quarter is expected to be very strong.
In the United States, production is expected to climb to 2.5 million tons. This is an increase of more than 16% over the same period last year. However, annual production in 2022 is unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels. The shortage of stainless steel, especially cold rolled steel coil, may be a feature of the domestic market in the short term.
Next year, global stainless steel production will increase again.
MEPS forecasts that the annual total in 2022 will be 58.2 million tons, an increase of 2.5%. The growth rate of Indonesian output should continue to exceed that of India.
However, gains in other regions are expected to be moderate. This will not bring much comfort to buyers who are struggling with domestic shortages and soaring prices.