China was the largest consumer of stainless steel in 2019, the World Bureau of Metals Statistics (WBMS) said in a recent report.
Asia's stainless steel consumption in 2019 was 33.3m tonnes, up 10 per cent on the previous year, accounting for 74 per cent of global consumption.
The top four Asian consumers are China, India, Japan and South Korea. China's share is more than two-thirds, India's 10%, Japan's 6% and South Korea's 4%.
In terms of consumption growth, China's stainless steel consumption in 2019 increased by 9% over the previous year. India and South Korea are up 20 percent and 2 percent, respectively, from the previous year, while Japanese consumption is down 6 percent from last year.
Europe also saw a slight increase in consumption, with stainless steel consumption of 7.4 million tons in 2019, up 1.4% from a year earlier and a global share of 17%.
Germany, Italy and France accounted for half of the total. WBMS said consumption of stainless steel in Italy in 2019 remained at the same level as the previous year, but declined in Germany and Italy and increased in other European countries.
In North America, which accounts for 7 per cent of global consumption, consumption of stainless steel in 2019 was 3.2 million tonnes, down 6 per cent from the previous year. In North America, the CONSUMPTION of the United States is reported to be 90 percent.
In South America, the share of global stainless steel consumption was just over 1 per cent, at 600,000 tonnes, flat with 2018. Other regions also maintained 2018 levels, reaching 500,000 tons, with a market share of 1%.
WBMS expects a steady increase in stainless steel consumption in industries that require corrosion resistant steel, such as construction and transportation.
Meanwhile, global production of stainless steel slab in 2019 was 52.4 million tons, up 2.7% year on year and reportedly reaching a record high.
By region, Asia's stainless steel slab production rose 6 per cent year on year to 42m tonnes, with a market share of 80 per cent. China's stainless steel accounts for 70% of the total, India's 10%, followed by Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Indonesia.
WBMS said that while production of stainless steel slabs was up 10 per cent in China and 5 per cent in India and Indonesia, production was down in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
In Europe, where Belgium, Italy, Finland, Spain and Sweden are the leading producers of stainless steel slabs, production was 7 million tons in 2019, down 8 percent from the previous year and with a market share of 13 percent.
In North America, the production of stainless steel slab in 2019 was 2.6 million tons, down 8% from the previous year, and the market share was 5%. South America stood at 400,000 tonnes, the same level as in 2018, with a market share of 1%, while other regions produced 500,000 tonnes, down 17% from the previous year, with a market share just over 1%.
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