World stainless steel melt shop production rose by 10.6 per cent year on year in 2021 to 56.3 million tonnes, according to figures released March 14 by International Stainless Steel Forum.
Output was up in all regions monitored by the ISSF, with Asia, outside of China and South Korea, showing the largest climb of 21.2 per cent year on year to 7.8 million tonnes. However, this made up just 13.8 per cent of the overall total.
Production in China rose 1.6 per cent year on year to 30.6 million tonnes in 2021, 54.4 per cent of the total global output. Double-digit year-on-year increases were also seen in Europe, up 13.6 per cent to 7.2 million tonnes, and the US, up 10.4 per cent to 2.4 million tonnes.
Output in the “others” category — comprising Brazil, Russia, South Africa, South Korea and Indonesia — also increased 42 per cent year on year to 8.3 million tonnes in 2021.
The fourth quarter (Q4) output was down by 2.9 per cent year-on-year. Global melt shop production in the fourth quarter of 2021 was down 2.9 per cent year on year, but 1.2 per cent higher on the quarter to 13.7 million tonnes.
Chinese output for the quarter dropped 12.5 per cent year on year to 7.2 million tonnes, although this edged up 0.3 per cent from the third quarter. Q4 production in the US also fell 5.3 per cent year on year and 2.5 per cent on the quarter to 538,000 tonnes. Production in the rest of Asia and Europe increased 10.1 per cent and 2.8 per cent year on year, respectively, to 2 million tonnes and 1.8 million tonnes. Quarterly production in the other regions was up 23.5 per cent on the year, but down 0.2 per cent from Q3 to 2.2 million tonnes.