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Global stainless steel consumption growth to slow to 2.4% in 2019: ISSF

London — Global stainless steel consumption growth is set to slow this year before rebounding in 2020, according to projections from the International Stainless Steel Federation.

Stainless consumption is forecast to grow 2.4% this year, down from a growth rate of 4.8% in 2018, and then rise by a further 4.4% in 2020, the ISSF said after its autumn meeting this week in Monterrey, Mexico.

Projected growth rates vary by product, with cold rolled and hot rolled flat products set to rise by 2.9% and 2.7%, respectively, this year, with long products unchanged year on year and long products semis down 0.3%.

For 2020, all product groups were expected to see consumption growth, with cold rolled flat products at 5%, hot rolled flat products at 3.5%, long products at 3% and long products semis at 2.8%.

On a regional basis, strong consumption growth in China for 2019 was expected to offset declines elsewhere, ISSF figures showed.

Chinese consumption growth was expected to reach 8.6% this year, up from 6.9% in 2018, while all other regions are forecast to see lower consumption: minus 0.7% in Asia excluding China (down from 4.7% in 2018), minus 5.7% in Europe/Africa (down from 1.2%), and minus 7.6% in the Americas (down from 1.3% last year).

For 2020, China's consumption growth is expected to slow to 7.2%, with other regions returning to modest growth -? 2% in Asia excluding China, 0.4% in Europe/Africa and 1.6% in the Americas.

On the supply side, stainless steel melt shop production rose slightly in the first half of 2019 to 26.1 million mt from 25.6 million mt in the corresponding period last year, ISSF figures showed.

-- Andy Blamey, andy.blamey@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Dan Lalor, daniel.lalor@spglobal.com