FEATURE: China’s stainless ambitions could be seismic shift

The global stainless steel industry is a sector in transition and is intimately linked to nickel production, according to Jim Lennon, md of Red Door Research.

World crude stainless steel production was just over 42 million tonnes in 2015, making up just 2.50% of global steel output. But while stainless steel is a small segment of the total steel market, it is vitally important for the raw material industries that feed it: stainless steel production accounts for 70% of total nickel use, and 80% of ferro-chrome use. Like many industries, the stainless steel sector was given a profound shake-up by the emergence in the sector of China (see graph). In 2000, the East Asian country accounted for just over 3% of world stainless steel production; by 2015, this figure had grown to 52%. China swung from being a major net importer of stainless steel (more than 3 million tonnes melt equivalent in the middle of the last decade) to a major exporter (more than 3.50 million tonnes melt equivalent in 2014). This switch has led to the closure of...


Jim Lennon

September 05, 2016

00:02 GMT