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August 2006


Stainless steel production high

Brussels— The International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) has announced that world stainless crude steel production in the first quarter of 2006 stood at 6.6 million metric tons (mmt).

The total is the highest amount of stainless steel that has been produced in a single quarter.

Compared to the first quarter of 2005, production only rose by 0.3%. However, compared to the fourth quarter of 2005, production has risen by 12.2%. This indicates that demand is recovering from the poor results in the second half of 2005.

When compared to the fourth quarter of 2005, the strongest growth rate in the first quarter of 2006 (17.7% to 0.8 mmt) was achieved in The Americas. The Western Europe/Africa region increased stainless steel production by 12.6% to 2.4 mmt. Asia saw an increase of 11.1% to 3.3 mmt. Production in the Central and Eastern Europe region was relatively flat in this comparison.

When compared to the strong first quarter of 2005, the total world production increase in the first quarter of 2006 was just 0.3%. In this comparison the Western Europe/Africa region is still 1.4% behind last year’s production level. However, all other regions have increased their production.

The strongest growth year-on-year was achieved in Central and Eastern Europe, mainly due to the strong recovery of stainless steel production in Russia. The Americas increased their stainless steel output by 4.1%. Asia, with an increase of just 0.4%, shows flat development when compared to the first quarter of 2005.

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