Global stainless production down 2.5% in 2020 at 50.9m tonnes

The latest figures released by the International Stainless Steel Forum show that global stainless steel production fell 2.5% in 2020 compared to the previous year. Output nevertheless remained above the 50m tonne per annum level.
Global stainless steel production increased significantly in the second half of last year, reaching over 13.5m tonnes in quarter three, just slightly less than in the third quarter of 2019, and surging to just over 14.1m tonnes in the final quarter of 2020. This compares to a quarterly output of only around 11.6m tonnes in the first half of last year. The sharp recovery in the second half was not, however, sufficient to offset the low first half figures, with the result that full year 2020 production was 2.5% down on the previous year at 50.9m tonnes, compared to 52.2m tonnes in 2019.
After dipping sharply in the first quarter of 2020 to “just” 5.99m tonnes, compared to a quarterly average output of 7.4m tonnes in 2019, Chinese production recovered strongly in subsequent quarters. Quarter two 2020 output was already back up at almost 7.5m tonnes, almost the same level as achieved in the same quarter of 2019, and quarter three output jumped to 8.46m tonnes, 4% up on quarter three of 2019. Quarter four output was over 8.2m tonnes, 19.2% higher than in the same quarter of 2019.

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