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  5. January 2024 | Metal Supply and Demand Situation Development Assessment Report

January 2024 | Metal Supply and Demand Situation Development Assessment Report

Global Market Overview:

The global stainless steel industry has witnessed a series of significant events in 2023, impacting production, prices, and market dynamics. Despite a modest increase in global output, the industry faces numerous challenges, including sluggish demand, inflation, interest rate hikes, and fluctuating nickel prices.

Global Production Trends:

  • The global crude steel output of stainless steel is projected to reach 56.8 million tons in 2023, marking a 2.8% increase from the previous year.
  • Major production cuts have been observed globally, yet India and China continue to show growth in this sector.

Market Influencers:

  • The decline in LME nickel prices and lack of price support has pressured the stainless steel market.
  • A significant safety incident at Indonesia’s Tsingshan nickel pig iron plant has led to a surge in Chinese stainless steel spot prices.

Regional Challenges:

  • The Middle East’s Red Sea channel crisis has escalated shipping costs, potentially disrupting the global supply chain.
  • European markets, including Italy, face downturns due to geopolitical tensions and economic factors.

Acciai Speciali Terni (AST) in the 2023 Market Context

In 2023, Acciai Speciali Terni (AST), an Italian stainless steel manufacturer, paused production due to reduced EU market orders. This reflected broader economic strains and geopolitical tensions, including the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and the Israel-Kazakhstan situation. Key sectors like machinery and automotive, vital for steel demand, slowed down. These factors led to a 1.4% monthly and 3.4% annual drop in Italy’s steel production, with AST’s output totaling 17.87 million tons by October 2023.

Conclusion

The stainless steel industry in 2023 is navigating through a complex landscape of geopolitical and economic challenges. While some regions continue to grow, others face significant downturns, reflecting the industry’s dynamic and unpredictable nature.
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