MB STAINLESS LJUBLJANA: Chinese NPI-based stainless slab ‘could threaten’ EU austenitic production

Low-cost production of stainless steel in China using nickel pig iron (NPI) could eventually price European stainless steelmakers out of the market for crude production of austenitic stainless steels, such as grade-304 material, an industry forum has heard.

“We cannot exclude [the possibility of] some European mills becoming re-rollers [of grade-304 stainless slab imported from China] in the future,” Frank Ehrenberg, Outokumpu’s senior vp for raw materials procurement, said in a panel discussion at Metal Bulletin’s stainless steel conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on Wednesday September 6.
“It is not unlikely that grade-304 stainless steel slab [from China] will replace Western [European] melt production in the future,” he said, adding that Outokumpu has “a good chance to compete [with Chinese stainless steel slab] as we have our own ferro-chrome production in northern Finland”.
Austenitic stainless steel, classified as 300-series material, currently comprises around 55% of the global stainless steel market, according to Markus Moll, md of Steel & Metals Market Research (SMR).

The NPI production route for stainless...

Published

Viral Shah

September 07, 2017

16:10 GMT

Ljubljana