China’s 2012 crude stainless steel output up to 16m tonnes

China produced 16.09 million tonnes of crude stainless steel in 2012, up by 14.17% or 1.99 million tonnes year-on-year, according to the China Stainless Steel Council (CSSC).

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Production of 300-series products rose by 690,000 tonnes or 9.54% on an annual basis to 7.93 million tonnes, accounting for 49.27% of the total production.

Production of 400-series products totalled 3.21 million tonnes in 2012. This was 92,000 tonnes more than in 2011 and 19.94% of the total output.

Production of 200-series products reached 4.95 million tonnes, or 30.79% of the total output. That is 1.21 million tonnes more than in 2011.

China’s stainless steel industry suffered from a volatile market in 2012, which makes the stable 200-series products more favourable to mills.

China imported 772,000 tonnes of stainless steel in 2012, down by 129,000 tonnes or 14.32% from the previous year. On the export side, volumes dropped by 181,000 tonnes or 8.06% to 2.06 million tonnes.

China’s self-sufficiency rate in 2012 rose by 3.25 percentage points to 94%.

Apparent consumption for 2012 was 12.86 million tonnes, up by 16.36% or 1.81 million tonnes.

CSSC also published revised data for 2011. The new crude stainless steel output was 14.09 million tonnes, and new apparent consumption was 11.06 million tonnes.