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🌟2023 has yet again been an incredibly challenging year for businesses with high energy costs, high inflation rates, continued cost of living crisis and an unstable global and UK political climate.  All this continues to make business difficult for us all.

✨⭐However, the stainless steel market has remained resilient and has shown this year how the industry can adapt and take on the challenges presented to us. Bad debts and businesses going into receivership remains the exception, highlighting how our industry is managing the circumstances very well. There is still much enthusiasm about decarbonisation and net zero industries under development. We see the use of stainless steel within those industries growing. We also are seeing much more interest in the concepts of longer life, more resilient products from white good to street furniture to food containers. These markets all have the potential to see stainless steel usage increase. Our CO2 emissions as an industry reduce year on year, with European mills performing especially strongly supported by scrap utilisation rates around 85 and up to 97%. These are impressive figures and the mills should get the recognition they deserve to achieve these results. We have a great sustainable message. Stainless steel is 100% recyclable and more importantly chose the correct grade for the application and stainless steel will give years or decades of use with a low life cycle cost. Not many materials can offer the benefits stainless steel can. ❄️

🎄At the BSSA we have had another busy year. The highlight was our Conference and Dinner in May held for the second year at the fabulous Grand Hotel in Birmingham. The venue is a spectacular and the facilities are excellent and thanks to the Grand for looking after us again. There was a great panel of speakers who gave the delegates some very informative, interesting and at times thought provoking presentations. The evening dinner was excellent and those that attended loved it and will be returning again for our 2024 Conference and Dinner in May. Book your place now! ⭐⭐⭐

❄️In September the BSSA attended the second and much bigger UK Metals Expo at the National Exhibition Centre. We had a great 2 days with many interesting and interested visitors to our stand. The event was a great success and we have signed up again for the even bigger event in September 2024.

We have hosted a number of Webinars and there are already plans for more during 2024, so keep an eye on our events calendar on the BSSA website. ⭐

✨Our technical support has been busy in 2023. We have supported and answered over 650 enquiries so far this year which is in line with the numbers in 2022. We aim to accurately and efficiently answer any question you have for us, and I would like to thank John Butler for dealing with these number. One of the main reasons for our existence is to support the industry with advice.⭐

❄️The BSSA has also delivered training to 165 delegates who attended our on-line and a number of face to face courses in 2023. These included the launch of our Corrosion Mechanisms Course in conjunction with R-Tech Materials. We have held three sessions during 2023 and have further courses already in the diary for 2024. I have also delivered courses in Ireland, and thanks to our member company Shortts Stainless for hosting me. We will be launching more new courses in 2024.

✨✨The BSSA hosted a seminar on a very snowy day in March on the topic of Stainless Steels in the Food and Beverage Industries. This full day event was held at the Warwickshire Resort. The event was co-hosted by the BSSA, The Nickel Institute and the European Hygienic Engineering & Design Group (EHEDG) and we had extensive panel of experts looking at various key aspects of the Food and Beverage industry and why stainless steel is so important in the safe operation of the industry. Despite the snow we had over 40 delegates on the day who all got some really interesting and useful information from the day. We are working with EHEDG on repeating this successful event again in South Wales. Watch this space!

⭐The BSSA has also increased our social media presence, so please follow us via LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Threads or X if you have not done so already. We post regularly and promote our members activities and articles that are of interest to our industry. We have also extended our website capabilities and news functions including our recent weekly news update. Again, please subscribe if you haven’t done so. We are here to help and assist, so if there is anything we can do or you wish the BSSA to review or assist with, please let me know.

Finally, as the year draws to a close, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a successful and productive New Year.🌟

The BSSA will be shut from Friday 22nd December until Tuesday 2nd January 2023.