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Flat Products: Strip, Sheet, Plate

The Outlook for Stainless Steel Flat Products

A Presentation for the BSSA Distribution Forum, June 2004, by Vanessa Davidson - Research Manager Special Steels & Alloys CRU International Ltd. The Western European stainless steel market is showing signs of maturity. Future growth in consumption is therefore likely to be considerably lower than was experienced between 1985-2000. The ability of western European mills to export CR flat products to China will decrease sharply from now on. Best case scenario - China is self sufficient in CR flat products by 2008; Worst case scenario - China is a major net exporter of CR flat products by 2008. European melt shop capacity utilisation will be supported by HR exports in the short term, but this won't last forever. Shift in export product mix to greater % of hot rolled products will adversely affect revenue. With rising European imports and reduced exports, European producers could struggle to maintain high cold rolled stainless steel prices in the home market.

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