The latest annual accounts bulletin released by global stainless steel producer Outokumpu indicates that the global stainless steel demand has shown signs of improvement so far this year when compared with the lows recorded during end-2014. However, the outlook for Q1 2015 may vary by regions, it notes.
According to Outokumpu, the order intake in the Europe, Middle East and African region has seen improvements on the back of strong underlying demand. The Asian market has continued to remain soft during the month of January this year. The market condition in the Americas looks ‘promising’, although new orders continue to remain subdued for the moment, mainly due to uncertainty in nickel prices.
The global stainless steel demand climbed higher by 5.5% during 2014. The consumption in the Americas and Europe witnessed a rise of 4.7% and 3.8% respectively. Out of the total consumption during the entire year, the share of stainless steel imports to the EU constituted 30.6%, whereas those of NAFTA region stood at 18.9%.
The technical ramp-up at US Calvert mill along with the strategic partnership with Mexican cold rolling mill helped the company to lift its market share from 15% in 2013 to 18% last year. The company’s NAFTA market share too increased from 20% to 22% during last year.
Meanwhile, the global steel deliveries by the company during the entire year 2014 dropped slightly from 2.585 million tonnes in 2013 to 2.554 million tonnes in 2014.
Outokumpu is a group of companies headquartered in Espoo, Finland, producing stainless steel and high performance alloys, employing more than 12,000 employees in more than 30 countries.