International Stainless Steel Fair
The European stainless steel market will grow moderately
Analyses of the development of the world market in the last decade and information about the prospects for the next season were presented at the seminar on "Global and regional trends in the market with corrosion resistant steel" organized by the Austrian company SMI - Steel Market Intelligence at the STAINLESS fair in Brno.
The current stainless steel market is under strong price pressure and also highly variable, be it due to very low prices of nickel and other raw materials, oversupply mainly from Asia or the current European Union measures against dumping imports of stainless steel from China and Taiwan. The opening presentation by market analyser Alina Racu of SMI stated that the global market for stainless steel increased by 6%in the years 2000-2014. In the last decade, the market has been flooded with products from China and other Asian countries are also increasing which is clearly illustrated by the fact that 18 of the 25 largest world producers of stainless steel come from Asia today. However, also European production has already reached the level of pre-crisis years and expects further growth, among others related to the aforementioned anti-dumping measures against imports of stainless steel from China and Taiwan. The price of steel in the European market is lower by a fifth than the price of European producers.
In terms of consumption, the European market stagnated in the period 2000-2014; only rapidly growing Turkey was a significant exception. Slight growth was seen in Italy, Belgium, Poland and also in the Czech Republic, while decline was recorded in France, Finland and Switzerland. In 2014, approximately 40% of European sales of stainless steel was directed to consumer goods and health care, 19% to the chemical, petrochemical and energy sectors, 16% to construction and infrastructure, 13% of production resulted in application in the automotive industry and 9% of application in other industries .
The current market situation is strongly affected by the fact that the global stainless steel production rose by 8.3% last year to a new record of 41.7 million tons and exceeded the growth rate of demand. Only in China, which produces about half of the world production, the production of stainless steel increased by 14% to 21.7 million tonnes. Long products still remain profitable, keeping long-term profitability in contrast to flat stainless steel. Their global production peaked in 2006 and 2007 and 2014 was the third strongest in the 2000-2014 period. A full 60% of the production of long products made of stainless steel now comes from India and the analysis SMI expects further growth of their prices.
According to analyses, the European stainless steel market should increase annually by 4.5% in 2015. Regarding global trends, the consumption of stainless steel will grow especially in Asia in the coming years. China, which is already its largest consumer, should consume a half more by 2020, and growth by as much as 64% is expected in India during the same period. Also the expected growth in nickel prices is important news.
SMI - Steel Market Intelligence is an independent company focused on researching steel markets and special steel products. It was founded in Austria in 2008 as a partner company of SMR - Steel & Metals Market Research. The seminar on "Global and regional trends in the corrosion resistant steel market" was held in the Hall V at the Brno Exhibition Centre as part of the supporting programme of the International Fair of Stainless Steel, STAINLESS Brno 2015, which presented 140 exhibitors from 23 countries.