GLOBAL STAINLESS STEEL OUTPUT TO RISE 14 PERCENT IN 2006

MEPS STEEL NEWS
In the short term, this is good for stampers. Stainless steel markets have been tight, forcing prices up. Also contributing to high stainless prices were nickel prices. If the markets loosen up a bit, because production goes up, this will bring stainless prices more back into historical line. However, in the long term, it’s less clear. The pendulum is still swinging too much, and that means highly unpredictable raw material prices. Which leads to uncertainly back when material selection is made for stamped parts.

The world’s stainless steel sector will record an unprecedented jump in crude production this year. We expect total output in 2006 to climb to 27.8 million tonnes – 3.4 million tonnes above the outturn in the previous twelve months.
Such a rate of increase is unsustainable. The long term growth in production has been around 5 percent per annum. This year, the figure will be nearer 14 percent.
A substantial rise in output will be recorded in the EU this year. The gain will be almost 12 percent. A significant increase was expected after the decline in 2005 but not a double digit percentage gain.
A noteworthy production rise will also be reported for the United States this year – expanding to an estimated 2.55 million tonnes from 2.2 million tonnes twelve months earlier. New capacity pushed the growth to above 15 percent.

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