According to preliminary figures released, global stainless steel production was 7.4 million metric tons (mmt) in the first quarter of 2008. The figures, published by the International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF), show that stainless steel production increased by 6.5 percent compared to the last quarter of 2007.
Compared to the first quarter of 2007 production decreased by 3 percent across the world. It should be noted that 7.589 mmt of stainless steel was produced in that quarter of 2007, the highest figure ISSF has recorded for a single three-month period.
All areas of the world increased production compared to the last quarter of 2007. The Asia region showed the lowest growth rate at 3.6 percent while the Americas region leads the way with growth of 13.4 percent. Western Europe/Africa is at 9.8 percent and Eastern Europe at 9.7 percent are both contributing to the recovery. Asia is still the largest stainless steel producing region with production of 4.2 mmt in the first quarter of this year.