Stainless crude steel production by major SUS Mills up by 5.7pct in Dec

16 February 2015

TEX reported that the stainless crude steel production by 6 major stainless steel mills in December 2014 was 280,066 tonnes, up by 5.7% from 264,959 tonnes of the prior month. This represented a decrease of 12.5% versus the year-earlier month (320,008 tonnes).

In December, the influence of production recovery at Shunan Works of Nisshin Steel Company Limited which finished a regular furnace repair (5th to 18th of November) was big, and Chiba Works of JFE Steel Corporation and Nippon Steel & Sumikin Koutetsu Wakayama also made a recovery in production. On the other hand, Kawasaki Works of Nippon Yakin Kogyo Company Limited made a cutback in production to a range of 20,000 tons as originally planned, and the Company is analyzed to have maintained this level in January 2015 as well.

As the period from January to March is the one for settlement of accounts, all of producers, trading firms and customers have a policy to reduce in-hand stocks as of the end of March, but many of them think it should be lower than usual in this year and some of the stainless steel mills started to adjust production during December.

Besides, according to the special steel production plan for the period from January to March, although the production of stainless steel is expected to be up by 1.1% from the prior period for domestic consumption and up by 8.4% ditto for international export, the current demand from the auto industry is weak and therefore it is quite likely the production plan will be adjusted downward.